Becoming ill can be stressful on anyone, especially those without insurance. The financial implications of a serious illness can wipe out an entire savings if you’re not careful. But with a little extra planning and sacrifice, you can minimize the hazards of being uninsured. Follow these four tips to save money on medical costs if you don’t have insurance.
1) Prevention is the key. Coughing up the money for vaccines and flu shots can save you money in the long run. Coming down with a serious bout of the flu or contracting a serious illness will be a lot more costly to treat than the price of a vaccine. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating habits can also go a long way in staying healthy and doctor free.
2) Take advantage of walk in clinics and medical schools. Clinics are notorious for long lines and slow service, but the impact to your bottom line says a lot. Clinics often offer reduced price and sometimes free treatments for common ailments, as well as reduced price antibiotics. If you don’t feel comfortable going to a clinic try a medical school. Medical schools often treat patients at reduced prices for the learning opportunity it presents to medical school students. Better yet, the treatment will be overseen by a professional doctor.
3) Participate in medical research studies or clinical trials. FG Global (http://www.fgglobal.com) is a study recruitment site where you can do a free search for medical studies and clinical trials taking place in your area. It might be a long shot, but in some cases you not only get free treatment and a possible solution to your ailment but also compensation for participating in the study.
4) Learn to bargain. If all else fails or if an emergency does occur, talk to your doctor. Don’t be afraid to be honest about your situation and find out if special prices are available. Your doctor may be more help than you would imagine in cutting your medical costs. At the very least, he or she may be able to work with you on a payment plan.
Going to the doctor or ER when you don’t have insurance can be a stressful ordeal. Prevention is the biggest key to cutting down medical costs, but when that’s not an option these other tips can go a long way in saving your bank account.