Quick Tip Share-a-thon: Managing your healthcare costs

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2013-05-30 22:44:34 -0500
Started 2013-05-27 11:50:32 -0500

Healthcare decisions can be complicated, especially when you see the price tag.

Deductibles and copays. What’s covered and what’s not covered. Dietary requirements. Taking time off from work for appointments… the financial needs of other people in your household.

Your bank account… the future…


Making healthcare decisions can be hard, especially when you factor in the finances. In fact, the financial considerations may be what makes healthcare decisions so hard. Everything has a price tag attached to it. Leaving you feeling helpless as you watch the expenses adding up.

It doesn’t seem fair, does it? Living with a chronic condition can be stressful enough without having another reason to worry about money. But what can you do?

What do you do?

I recently posted an article with some practical ideas about managing financial stress – and saving money – as you make decisions about your healthcare. Here is a link:


I am really interested in any advice you have to share about how to take the best possible care of yourself – and get the best possible treatment for your chronic condition – while managing your finances. Planning ahead? Putting together a spreadsheet to monitor expenditures? Looking for lower cost alternatives? Teaming up with your doctor to keep costs down?

Need some ideas?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Tags: finances

6 replies

Jeanette Terry
Jeanette Terry 2013-05-30 13:59:39 -0500 Report

I have found that a lot of times there can be confusion when it comes to insurance companies covering supplies and appointments correctly. In order to make sure I am getting the best coverage possible I ALWAYS call the insurance company to walk through what I am actually ordering or what kind of a doctor I am seeing and why. Even more so when you have several companies trying to work together. There is a huge communication gap between patients, insurance companies and doctors. I usually get a better price and coverage if I talk them through the whole process. This can be pretty stressful sometimes though because I have to do all of the research first so that I know what I am talking about. But it has saved me some major cash in some instances.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-30 22:44:34 -0500 Report

HI Jeanette!

It's great to hear from you here.

Keeping the insurance company in the loop is a really good idea. Patients may have to take responsibility for making sure the guidelines and limitations that the insurance company has in place are being met, and the doctor may not have done all of his/her homework. I have scheduled sessions with clients only to find out that the client needed pre-authorization, or wasn't aware of the copay amount, resulting in delays or changes in direction. I had a couple of surprises a few years back when I needed back surgery -- and saved myself money by stepping through the process with the insurance company rep. These details slip through the cracks so easily and if patients are communicating with their insurance companies, they can save frustration for themselves, as well as money.

A little research can save time and money.



Stuart1966 2013-05-28 22:27:33 -0500 Report

Tragically Dr. Gary, the reason its called catastrophe-thinking is BECAUSE our finances are just that… and often!

Four jobs still do not allow any coverage at all unless I but it on the individual market. It is intolerable and unforgivable that it costs this much for the most primitive coverage.

Suffering generic medications which do NOT work the way the brand names do? Btw why isn't there a GENERIC injectable insulin… obscene profiteerism, or GREED to which do you ascribe the answer?!?!

We can ask anybody we wish there is not remotely enough money to do what defensive medicine asks or insists for most of us. Why do our strips keep rising in price… gee… I wonder? Neither generalization, nor catastrophic thinking. Simple harsh financial fact.

What can we do when the piggy bank, and work will not permit or allow decent medical care? I see no good spin this one respectfully.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-30 08:55:08 -0500 Report

Hi Stuart,

I felt sad and frustrated when I read your reply. Believe me, I understand what you are saying here. I talk to so many people who are in similar situations as yours. When you don't have adequate coverage, then cutting corners is not even an issue.

It is just a tragedy that people with chronic conditions cannot get the care that they need.

I appreciate that you took the time to let us know what's going on in your life. I hope you will stay in touch.


manapua72 2013-05-27 12:31:52 -0500 Report

The biggest thing thing for many if us is to stay employed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I work for a good company that has pretty awesome medical plan in place for its employees … So being that our ( diabetics ) health care cost so much it's very important to stay employed so as not to lose our medical benefits ..,.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-05-28 22:23:14 -0500 Report

Hey manapua, thanks for checking in, my friend. You said it, having a good medical plan is a not only a benefit but a blessing. As is the job that provides the health insurance. Nice to see you! Gary

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