Tag Archive for healthcare

6 Ways to Save Money on Health Care Costs

save money

6793824321_398d881757_zWith the ever-changing health care coverage in today’s world, it’s more important than ever that we as citizens learn how to save money on health care costs. Rising prescription drug costs and higher co-pays in the medical world mean more money out of the pockets of most citizens.

There are ways, however, that we as citizens can help minimize the amount of dollars that leave our pockets for health care costs. Today I’ll share six ways you can save money on health care costs yet still provide for a healthier you.

Save Money on Health Care Costs by Opening a FSA

A medical expense FSA, or “flexible spending account”, allows you to take pre-tax dollars from your paycheck and set it aside to cover medical expenses for the year. This allows you to save money?that you use for medical expenses from being taxed, and it makes your net income lower as well. The caveat, though, is that any FSA funds that you put aside that are not used during the calendar year in which they were deducted from your paycheck “disappear” at year’s end.

If you choose to utilize the benefits of a medical expense FSA in order to save money on health care costs, make sure to estimate the amount of money you’ll need conservatively so you don’t lose that money altogether at year end if it’s not needed.?(Editor’s note…something very similar can be done through an HSA, which my family has. I believe it’s one of the best ways to save money on healthcare costs. The tax savings aren’t too bad either.)

Be Choosy About Doctor Visits

It’s wise to see a doctor when you have concerns about your health, however, many people make trips to the doctor for things that are unnecessary, such as for a mild cold or the occasional bout of constipation. Making unnecessary trips to the doctor costs you money that might not need to be spent.

If you’re unsure about whether or not you need a doctor visit, call your doctor’s office nurse triage line and ask to speak to a triage nurse, who can properly assess whether or not a visit to the doctor is needed.

Talk to Your Doctor About Reducing Co-Pay Bills

A friend of mine recently found out that, as of January 1st, one of the prescription drugs she needs for a family member increased their patient co-pay up to $850 per month, and this is with good insurance! Unable to pay that kind of money, she called her doctor and asked if there was another medicine that will do the same job and cost less. Her doctor did his research and switched the family member to a drug that did the same job, but has a copay of $125 as opposed to $850 each month.

When choosing medical tests and necessary prescription drugs, be sure to ask about co-pays and also have your doctor check and see if there are less expensive alternatives, thereby putting more money into your pocket each month and spending less on medical care when a quality alternative is available.

Eat Well

Study after study has proven that a healthy, whole foods diet that minimizes consumption of processed foods and high-sugar foods can do a great job at not only maintaining your health, but improving your health as well. Diseases such as Type II Diabetes and Heart Disease can often be controlled with a diet that is high in vegetables and fruits, and low in unhealthy fats and processed grains.

Educate yourself on what particular types of foods do to the human body, learn how to make healthy meals?to eat, and work to do what you can to improve your health through a clean diet.

Exercise

Exercise, even in small doses, goes a long way in maintaining and increasing good health. Even low-impact exercises such as stretching, Pilates, yoga and swimming are wonderfully beneficial to the human body. Make a commitment to get moving, even if it’s as simple as parking further away from the door, doing simple stretches each day or taking the stairs as opposed to the elevator.

All of these health improvement techniques add up to a healthier you, and create a potential breeding ground for lower medical care costs. Don’t give in to the belief either that you need to have a high priced gym membership to work out either as there are many ways you can get fit at home?that cost little to nothing.

Never Settle for Subpar Care

While this may seem like an anti-money-saving tip, the truth is that settling for subpar care and medicines might actually lead to worse health and increased health care costs. While subpar care might save you money initially, it has the potential to cost much more money in the long run. Your health is precious.? Never settle for anything less than great medical care by your medical care provider.

Even with rising health care costs, we do have some control over how much we spend on health care. Choose to educate yourself on what it means to improve your health and cut costs where you can on health care without compromising your health. Your body will be healthier, and your savings account, will be healthier too.

 

What do you do in order to save money on health care costs? Do you have access to and save money in a FSA or HSA? How do you balance saving money without giving up on quality care?

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of:?401kcalculator.org

 

How to Treat Skin Blemishes on a Budget

Skin blemishes

Skin blemishesSpend just a few minutes flipping through the latest fashion magazine and you will see countless advertisements touting cosmetics products that will help eliminate skin blemishes. Unfortunately, these creams, lotions, and ointments are usually very expensive. In addition to the prohibitive cost of most of these products, some of them do not even treat skin issues very effectively.

Skin blemishes can appear without a warning. They are dark spots or discoloration of the skin. Often times, they are caused by skin condition like acne or factors like hormonal imbalance, too much sun exposure, unhealthy lifestyle and of course, aging.

Thankfully, though, there a number of different ways to fight blemishes without having to bust your budget. The following list details several treatment options for those wanting to improve the look of their skin while also keeping more money in their pocket.

 

Prevent Blemishes with Healthy Lifestyle Choices

The cheapest and most comprehensive way to eliminate blemishes and clear up your skin is to live the healthiest lifestyle possible. There is ample evidence that suggests eating an organic diet and exercising regularly are one of the best preventative measures against the development of blemishes.

This would mean you have to eat right, exercise regularly, eliminate sugar-filled drinks, stop smoking and avoid too much alcohol. Once you start making changes and opting for a healthier lifestyle, you should hopefully see gradual improvement in both the look and texture of your skin.

Other causes of blemishes include stress, hormonal changes, or using different types of make-up. Although we cannot totally eliminate stress or prevent hormonal changes from happening, learning how to meditate and appreciating the beauty of life can help our mind and body relax. Living a healthy lifestyle will help balance out hormonal activity. Similarly, getting 8 hours of sleep each night reduces stress, which will keep the blemishes away.

Other Cheap Ways to Cure Blemishes

For those who are already suffering with embarrassing blemishes, the best thing to do is avoid the temptation of picking at the mark or pimple. Picking at a blemish causes skin damage, and might even cause scarring. Instead, experts recommend that you apply a mixture of sulphur and salicylic acid to the pimple. This cheap treatment option will eliminate the blemish without leaving a long-term scar.

There are also all-natural ways to treat skin blemishes, too.

Some people use apple cider vinegar as a natural treatment. Apple cider vinegar contains skin-scrubbing acidic properties that quickly reduce the size of pesky pimples. Apple cider vinegar also works well for ladies wanting to clean dirt out of their pores. Others use honey, lemon, mint leaf, or garlic.

 

Final Note

 

It is everyone?s desire to look young and beautiful. The good news is treating blemishes to achieve the beautiful skin you desire is possible. However, you don?t have to spend a fortune just so you can have a younger looking skin. What is important is to know what method or product works well with your type of skin.

 

 

Photo courtesy of: Alexandra Zakharova