Looking after your health shouldn’t cost a fortune—but it often does. Healthcare costs continue to rise year over year as consumers face higher out-of-pocket prices for medical procedures and treatments. According to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, half of U.S. adults surveyed said they had omitted or delayed a healthcare procedure in the past year because they couldn’t afford the costs.
The good news is that there are many ways you can save money on healthcare, and they don’t even require that you leave the comfort of your own home. In this article, we’ll take a look at ways you can save on healthcare by going online.
From using coupons or shopping for healthcare plans to consulting an expert insurance navigator or booking a virtual consultation, you can save dollars without compromising on treatment or care.
1. Get Smart with GoodRx Coupons
When you pick up your prescription and present your health insurance card to the pharmacist, you may think you’re already getting your medication at the lowest price possible. The truth is that even with generics, you could be paying more than you need to.
The good news is that with some smart research and generous discount coupons, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars on your prescriptions every year.
One of the best ways to save money on your prescriptions is through services like GoodRx. GoodRx is a free medical app that has helped millions of Americans make big savings on their medical and prescription drug costs. The cost of prescription drugs varies from pharmacy to pharmacy, often by tens of dollars, and GoodRx makes shopping for the best deal easy. With this app, you can compare prices, get free coupons, and get access to additional features such as prescription reminders and notifications. Find the coupon you need, show it to your pharmacist, and you’re good to go. What’s more, GoodRx coupons are valid in over 70,000 pharmacies in the U.S., including CVS, Walmart, and Rite Aid.
2. Use a Telemedicine or Telehealth Service
We live in an age where virtual care is becoming more and more popular around the world. Not only has the mobile revolution helped to fast-track the acceptance of virtual consultations, but advances in virtual healthcare software have also helped to make the scheduling and delivery of online appointments easy and convenient.
Instead of making a trip to the doctor’s office for a consultation, patients can schedule a virtual appointment and chat with their clinician from the comfort of their own homes. Many telemedicine providers like RexMD.com make it even easier, with patients interfacing with their doctors by chat rather than even through a phone call. With Rex MD, for instance, guys are getting ED meds online, like generic Viagra and generic Cialis, delivered to their door in discreet packaging.
The benefits to patients with intermittent issues or those simply needing specific medications like ED meds are obvious, especially when dealing with sensitive issues.
But there’s another important benefit that virtual care has to offer: virtual ordering costs less than a face-to-face visit in the clinic. Rex MD includes their consultation for free with new members’ first order.
What’s more, virtual care platforms feature built-in billing to make patient payment collections simple and transparent.
3. Invest in Wearable Tech
For many users of wearable tech like smartwatches, these devices are a great way to keep track of performance and fitness goals. Users can compete with and connect with friends, congratulate one another, and take part in fun challenges. In effect, wearable fitness devices and the apps that come with them have changed how we work out by gamifying personal fitness.
But what’s fun for smartwatch users can also help you save on healthcare costs. Some health insurance providers are offering wearers of fitness tech more tangible incentives, such as discounts on their health insurance or even cash for partaking in more physical activity and monitoring their health. And as wearable tech becomes more advanced, it won’t be long before your watch will help you to prevent and manage chronic disease.
4. Consult a Health Insurance Navigator
Health insurance can be complex, especially if you have complex needs or your needs have changed significantly since you last took out a plan. A health insurance navigator is trained to help healthcare consumers shop for the most suitable and affordable health coverage plans available. They can also help you to complete enrollment forms and understand eligibility rules.
Health insurance navigators are required by law to offer unbiased and free advice when offering their services. They must also have completed federal navigator training, state training, and registration (where applicable) and have undergone criminal background checks before they can begin helping consumers.
Many health insurance navigators offer their services online and many also offer specialization with specific health insurance providers. Before choosing to work with a health insurance navigator, it is important to check their credentials.
5. Sign Up For Reward and Loyalty Programs
Many pharmacies offer reward and loyalty programs to patients filling their prescriptions with them. Every drugstore offers a different type of program with different incentives and rules. However, most operate in the same way. Simply sign up for free and accumulate points whenever you complete certain activities. These activities can include filling prescriptions, getting a vaccine, buying qualifying products, and also practicing healthy habits like logging blood pressure or glucose levels, quitting smoking, or exercising.
For example, the ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards program will give you a $5 coupon to use in Target for every 10 prescriptions you fill with Target or CVS Pharmacy. Depending on your prescription needs, you could earn up to $50 in coupons throughout the calendar year.
6. See If You’re Eligible For a Tax Credit Subsidy
If you’re responsible for purchasing your own health insurance, you could be eligible for what is known as a tax credit subsidy. Known as Advanced Premium Tax Credit, this subsidy helps to reduce the amount you pay for your monthly premiums. When you enroll in a health insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you will be required to estimate your expected income for the year ahead. If this estimate qualifies you for the tax credit subsidy you can use that credit in advance to reduce your monthly premiums.
7. Keep an Eye Out For Discounts
If you wear contact lenses or glasses, you don’t have to buy these items from your ophthalmologist or optometrist. Federal law states that your eye specialist must provide you with a copy of your prescription so that you can buy your eyewear and lenses wherever you like. If your health insurance plan doesn’t offer vision coverage, keep an eye out for discounts on contact lenses and glasses. Many can be purchased online at deeper discounts than those found in-store.
Why Arranging Healthcare Online Makes Sense
We live in a connected world, one that thankfully makes life easier and more affordable than ever for consumers. Whether you’re looking for a new car, a mortgage, or the latest deals on fashion, it’s never been easier to compare prices and find some great savings.
Healthcare is no exception. Where you might have once had only a handful of options, streamlined systems, and online-centric providers are making things easier and more affordable.
For consumers looking to save money (and often time), the opportunities online are boundless.