Jewels Doskicz is a registered nurse, freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. She and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.
Face the music. Life with diabetes is an expensive venture. With doctor visits, medications, blood glucose monitoring equipment, and insulin pumps, the cost can be astounding.
The average American spends more than $3,000 a year on out-of-pocket healthcare costs, while people with diabetes incur average medical expenditures of about $13,700 per year, of which about $7,900 is attributed to diabetes. According to Fitnessmagazine.com, there are simple ways to reduce our healthcare spending, allowing us to keep that money in our wallets instead.
7 tips to save:
- Check your provider list. Ensure your physician is an in-network doctor before your visit; these lists change from time to time. Out-of-network visits are expensive and usually apply toward a different deductible.
- Negotiate. Nothing is set in stone. In one study, 70 percent of people who asked for a discount were successful at lowering their hospital bills. Check out healthcarebluebook.com for fair prices. Paying cash up front may also reduce your cost.
- Look for mistakes. It's claimed that eighty percent of medical bills contain mistakes. Bust out a magnifying glass and find yours.
- Shop for health insurance plans. With so many choices for plans, chances are there's one out there that can save you money. Consider the deductibles, network doctors, and pharmacy/doctor visit co-pays and do the math before you pick.
- Shop carefully for medications. Consider using generic drugs, and shop at bigger suppliers such as Walmart, which may have less expensive options. Costco and Sam's Club allow you to use their pharmacy without a membership; the savings can add up quickly. Another option: check your presciption’s price at the big chains by phone, then ask your favorite pharmacy to match it.
- Let your long-term medicine come to you. For drugs that you will continue to take for a long time, use a mail-order pharmacy that provides an economical three-month supply every time.
- Use a flexible spending account. This is free money, people! By deducting money from your paycheck before it's taxed, you can save big-time. Use Expensify (a free app) to take pictures of your receipts for reimbursement.