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Skirting The Unaffordable Affordable Care Act: Tips To Reduce Your Health Care Costs.

January 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Health, Money/Business, Tech/Internet, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.comThe price of health care has been rising inexorably over the last decade or so, thanks to a bunch of failed policies, crony capitalism and the ever-worsening state of the American diet. Businesses are being hammered by rising health care costs, while the actual quality of the service is falling in some places.

According to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, deductibles for workers with employer-provided insurance stood at $1,217 in 2014 and are even higher today. The average individual plan offered by the ACA has a deductible of more than $5,000 which goes up to over $10,000 for family bronze plans.

Clearly, the cost of healthcare is unaffordable for most Americans. As a result, many more people are taking health care costs into their own hands. They’re looking for ways to lower their costs, without compromising on care. Here’s what they’re doing.

Ask For Upfront Prices And Get Discounts For Paying Cash

Strange as it may sound, some doctors offices will charge a different price depending on whether you pay by cash or whether you go through your insurer. Often it’s possible to get a discount by offering money upfront, although you may have to call up your insurer first.

Take Advantage Of Free Screening

Most communities host health fairs that offer free screening services. The law says that ACA-compliant insurance companies must provide a set number of screenings without any copays.

Shop Around For Medication

The prices of various treatments can vary dramatically from country to country. As a result, it’s worth looking around to see whether it’s cheaper to receive medication abroad. The interferon price in India, for instance, is much lower than it is elsewhere in the world, especially in the US.

Some people are put off the idea of becoming medical tourists, especially to poorer parts of the world, because they believe that the standards of care will be lower. But most of these facilities in developing countries depend on Western patients to stay in business. Because of this, standards of hygiene often exceed those of Western hospitals.

There’s also the sense among some patients that the quality of drugs is lower, but again this isn’t true. Sure, they’re cheaper, being so-called “generic” varieties, but they’re not lower quality. Most of the time they’re made in the same factory and just have a different logo stuck on them.

Use Telephone And Video Consultations

Telephone and video consultations often wind up being a lot cheaper than going to see your doctor in person. Prices are typically around $49 for a ten-minute consultation. Insurance companies and employer plans often offer telephone hotlines that are able to answer medical questions 24 hours a day.

Be Picky About Your Insurance Policy

If there’s one good thing that might come out of the Trump presidency, it’s the fact that we may get more choice about the health insurers we use. More choice means more competition and lower prices – in theory, at least. Currently, most people throughout the US have some degree of choice over which Affordable Care Act plan they use, meaning that you can alter your policy, depending on your needs.

Staff Writer; Karl Harris

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