Saturday, June 26, 2010

Modern medicine and your money...

Modern medicine is wonderful, why just this week I have seen 2 Doctors, one ER resident and an ultrasound technician just to find out what was wrong with my leg. Turns out there is some clotting in my superficial vein and a regular aspirin a day and a heating pad should clear it up. That being said, I know that if I didn't have insurance I would have never been able to afford all the trips in to find the problem, and that got me to thinking about finding ways to save on decent health care. So, off I went to find information while I was on bed rest to keep my leg up.

First, knowing WHEN to go to the Doctor is important, if you are unsure if you need to go into see your Doctor call the office and ask for the nurse on call or request that the Doctor call you back, then ask your question over the phone. If it is something simple you may not even need to go in for a visit. If you do need to go in for an office call remember that to a Doctor time is money, a longer office call will cost more that a long one, have your questions and concerns written down so you know exactly what your health goals are going into the visit.

Second, if you are going in for a visit, find out if your Doctors office give a discount if you pay right away without waiting for a bill. You would be surprised at how many offices offer this discount, my own clinic offers 10% off for folks paying in cash that don't have insurance coverage.

If you find out you need a prescription be sure to have your Doctor call it in to where you get some sort of reward. Personally I use Target because for every 10 prescriptions I get filled I get a 10% discount card that I can use throughout Target, including the pharmacy. By doing this I not only get a discount on things to brighten my day but I get 10% off my prescriptions AND even if I get them with the discount they still apply towards my required 10 purchases for the next card. Also, be sure to check your preferred pharmacies web site, many times they offer a $5.00 to $10.00 gift card for switching or adding a new prescription. Target is always doing this, just check the web site or call the pharmacy directly.

Also, almost every drug company has coupons or rebates on their web page. Just type in the name of the drug on Google and see what they are offering. For example both my husband and I have some issues with cholesterol, mine with triglycerides his with his over all numbers, I am on Trilipix which is offering a $15.00 rebate, my husband is on Lipitor which has two programs going, one for a 30 day free trial and one that can save up to $15.00 on the prescription every time you get the prescription filled, depending on your co-pay if you have insurance, if you don't you will automatically qualify for the $15.00 off.

I also have my prescriptions filled monthly instead of every 3 months for two reasons, first, each purchase counts towards my 10% reward card and second, many of the drug companies coupons can be printed and used month after month, this actually save me a lot of money over the year, so be sure to weigh the saving vs. the convenience, of you go out every month to a store near where you pick up your prescriptions it is probably worth while to pick them up monthly.

Most importantly I think, is never try to diagnose yourself. A while back I talked to a Doctor who said that Web MD was the worst thing to ever happen to medicine, he had seen a huge spike in people who all thought they had some terrible incurable diseases because the Internet said that dry eyes may be a sign of eye cancer, or coughing may be a sign of lung cancer, meanwhile folks that really needed to get in looked up their symptoms and saw that everything they had could be a sign of simple stress. After that I never looked on the Internet for anything like that again, after all, that's what they went to school all those years to learn.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! I hope you all are having great weather.


1 comment:

  1. That's a lot of Doctors in a short time! Wow! I guess I never added them all up.
    Great tips, per usual!


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