Health Care is about 20% of GDP. We should all be looking for ways to save costs.
A couple of starting questions:
For those with long-term medications, have you figured out how to avoid having to pay for regular doctor visits that are essentially just quick check-ups and then taking a prescription? I find paying $800/year just to see a doctor quickly and say “yep, still doing great!” is a large waste of money.
Dental care - dentists are notorious for pushing high-profit care with a poor risk/benefit ratio. Dental exams/cleanings are already pretty cheap - they are like the oil changes of the car industry which gives dentists a chance to tell you need some major work. Has anyone figured out how to get common dental procedures like fillings, sealants, root canals, etc for “cheap” but safe? I currently have a $3000 estimate for some bridge work - there has to be a way to get that done at a fraction of that cost but still safely.
Physicals / check-ups - I also suspect there’s a way to get the basic care of a doctor visit and symptom assessment without paying a $100+ office visit. I get annoyed with a generic doctor visit because it’s usually covered by a PA yet I pay as if I’m going to a doctor. I hope that home-use health sensors and data analytics will usurp this role - is this already possible?
There are many common scenarios requiring antibiotics. What’s the cheapest way to get an antibiotics prescription vs. a doctor visit which is typically $100+?
Some tips I know:
Insurance agreed rates are not always the best, especially with prescriptions! I save $100s a year by just using Sam’s Club or Costco’s member discount programs. I’m not sure of their privacy policies, but if you are concerned with your insurance knowing every medical issue, this also avoids having your prescriptions added to the main insurance company’s records.
The Surgery Center of Oklahoma https://surgerycenterok.com/ is famous for its price transparency and affordable procedures. It’s worth checking out their costs vs your insurance costs, especially as many more people are now on high-deductible plans which basically means you’re paying out of pocket all year unless you have some major medical issue.
It would be awesome to know if there are any places like OK that have a similar model for dental, routine visits, etc - so we could price compare with our insurance plan rates. I’ve also heard international care can be a fraction and worth the travel costs (medical tourism), but I don’t know how to actually compare that…
I hope there are some tricks here to save $100s and $1000s on costs we almost all deal with! Please share!