In the professional world, sourcing and negotiations are part of my job, but I tend to take these two tasks and apply them to my personal world.  I find myself more and more sourcing and negotiating things for my house, looking for the best deals for clothes and shoes, food shopping, and even look for ways to save when it comes to my health.  I recently read two articles on CNNMoney.com that outline some helpful savings tips for reducing your medical expenses.

Reviewing your health care providers in-network and out of network coverage can be daunting but it can also be helpful.  Obviously, using in-network is going to save you money; however be mindful of your visits to the GP and specialists.  The number of visits you make can add up when it comes to your co-pay and out of pocket costs.  Don't be afraid to ask questions about why you are seeing a specialist, or going to a GP for multiple follow ups. See what steps you can take to reduce your trips to the doctor's office.  One article suggests using home testing kits instead on ongoing visits.  For example, at-home glucose kits can range from $20-$130 which can be less than multiple visits to the doctor's office in the long run.  If you are doing physical therapy, the article suggests working with your therapist to put together a home exercise program that would relieve you from multiple trips to the office for a workout.  In this case, you need to be motivated.  Having the therapist put together a plan and then not following it will only result in more problems.  Lastly, when going to the doctor's office don't be afraid to ask them what the price would be if you pay cash.  Doctors may be willing to reduce their price if you pay cash.  This negotiation tactic will work in many other scenarios as long as you don't forget to ask.  

Another example for savings on medical expenses is transitioning to generic medications when possible.  It's important to check with your doctor when looking at generics, but also its important to see what prescriptions will be covered under your insurance provider.  Don't forget about mail order for things like your medications and prescription eye wear.  Purchasing these items in bulk can result in significant cost savings.  The article also points out that you can source your prescriptions through websites such as GoodRx.com which allows you to find the lowest cost prescription drugs at local and online retailers.

There is a few more cost savings tips in the two articles; however I believe the best savings strategy for medical expenses is to make sure you are taking care of yourself.  Taking the first step of eating right and exercising can go a long way in reducing your medical costs.
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Lindsey D.

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