Jewels Doskicz is a registered nurse, freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. Jewels is the moderator of Diabetic Connect’s weekly #DCDE Twitter chat, and she and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.
Face the music. A life with diabetes is an expensive venture. With doctor visits, medications, blood glucose monitoring equipment, and insulin pumps, the cost is 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. Out-of-network visits are expensive and usually apply toward a different deductible.
- Negotiate. Nothing is set in stone. In 2005, 70 percent of people 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. Eighty percent of medical bills contain mistakes. Bust out a magnifying glass and find yours.
- Shop for plans. The reason there are so many choices for plans is because they can save you money. Consider the deductibles, network doctors, and pharmacy/doctor visit co-pays and do the math before you pick.
- Medications. Think about using generic drugs and shop at bigger suppliers such as Walmart, which may have less expensive options. Use a mail-order pharmacy that fills three-month subscriptions to save money.
- Warehouse clubs. Sam's Club allows you to use their pharmacy without a membership; their pharmacy savings can tally up by the end of the year.
- Flexible Savings 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 receipts for reimbursement.