In average, a Canadian spends more than $2,000 each year in medical care. Even if you do have a good medical insurance, medical bills can blow up your budget. However, it is a non-negotiable expense to which you will be confronted throughout your whole life. In order to stay healthy even if you don’t have much money, here are some advice for you to spend less.
Choose generic drugs
Some drugstores such as Shoppers or Rexall offer their own brand of medicine. Often identical to those of big pharmaceutical companies, their price is cheaper. You can save up to 50% by buying a product from a less-known brand which is as much as effective than the “regular” one.
Do not hesitate to negotiate
Health care professionals staff prefer when the bills are paid rather than using collection agencies. You can ask for a discount or a payment schedule by explaining your situation.
Follow the doctor’s prescription
20% of people simply don’t follow the prescription or don’t take their medicine correctly. By acting as such, you increase the risk to be sick again and to go back to the doctor, or worse, the hospital, which, at the end, increase your bills as well.
Check coupons and flyers
A same drug can be sold at different prices in different stores around your house. At Wal-Mart, for instance, you can find smaller prices on generic pharmaceuticals. Read carefully the flyers you receive each week in order to buy the drug you need at the best price.
Double check your medical bills
Check that you received all the spending that were charged to you. It can happen sometimes that you were charged for a service that you did not benefit from or from a service that is normally covered by your health insurance. If you see a mistake, call your doctor or the hospital so that the bill can be corrected.
Avoid the ER
The emergency room must be your last resort. It will cost your more than a visit to the doctor who will give you the exact same treatment. For everyday pain, go first to the drugstore and take an appointment to the doctor if the syndromes persist. You will save time and money.
Take care of your teeth
Did you know that your teeth are directly linked to your heart? A bad dental hygiene can lead to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis and even to Alzheimer. If your insurance does not cover these costs, check with dentists’ school and ask for the price for treatments performed by the students.
Always keep your receipts
The insurance bonus you pay each year are eligible to non-refundable credit. You can declare your prescription drugs, glasses, dental care, acupuncture, psychologist … and many more services. You can even ask your pharmacist to get a statement of your annual expenses.
Medical spending should be considered and treated in the same way than your daily spending. Do not hesitate to compare prices, to negotiate and to make the best choices according to your budget.