Health care spending in the US doubled in the last seven years according to a report by the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Of course, anyone who has been to the doctor or pharmacy recently has experienced these soaring costs first hand. In a Forbes article:
• Total health care spending in 2013 amounted to $3.9 trillion. That’s 16% of the US GDP and $6,000 for every person in the population.
• Health care costs grew at more than double the national inflation rate in 2014.
• “It’s 50% more per capita than the next biggest spender — which is Switzerland — are we getting value for our money? And the answer unequivocally is, no, we’re not.”
• “The Kaiser Family Foundation Survey shows that 69% of employers were offering coverage in 2000. That number is now down to 60%.”
• There are currently 32 million uninsured Americans.
With no end in sight to these soaring health care costs, what can consumers do to protect themselves? Here are some tips for keeping health care expenses under control:
• Always be covered by some form of health insurance. Even expensive health insurance is more affordable than paying medical bills on your own.
• Research health insurance programs that may be available in your area. Call 1-877-KIDS-NOW for information about low cost health insurance for children from the US Department of Health and Human Services.
• Ask your employer about the availability of health care “cafeteria” plans or “flexible spending” plans. These accounts allow you to set aside pre-tax income to pay for health care costs.
• Ask your doctor to prescribe generic versions of expensive medications. In many cases this can reduce your co-pay costs.
• Visit the doctor for preventative care when possible. A visit to the doctor in advance is much less expensive than a visit to the emergency room.
• Keep an emergency savings account and a few credit cards with high credit limits available to deal with unexpected health care costs.
• Review medical bills closely for inaccurate or double billing. Errors in medical bills are very common.
You can read more about the increase in health care costs and more about the issue of affordable health care here.
Share your feedback with the ediorial team from InstallmentLoansNetwork.com about rising health care costs and your experiences with these bills and additional tips you may have to help keep your costs lower in 2015 as you work towards saving money!