Managing Health-Care Costs

Making healthy choices and knowing how employers and insurance companies are dealing with rising health-care costs can help you manage your expenses.

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A simple way to help control your health-care costs is to focus on staying healthy. The healthier you are, the less time you'll spend visiting the doctor or taking sick days at work. Reduce your need for medical services, and you'll spend less money on health care over time.

Examples of lifestyle choices that can help you save on medical costs include:

  • Getting preventive care, including screenings recommended by age
  • Not smoking
  • Drinking in moderation
  • Managing your stress
  • Eating a healthy diet and exercising

Other methods to consider to help control costs include:

  • Planning ahead for medical expenses. Log onto your insurance website and use tools such as a treatment cost estimator to calculate what you'll need for a medical procedure in your future. You also can talk with your doctor or a facility to help you investigate costs.
  • Know when to seek emergency care. If it's not urgent, it's usually best to visit your primary care doctor or an urgent care center.
  • Reduce prescription drug costs. Talk with your doctor about generic drugs and explore ways to save on your prescriptions – mail-order options are generally less expensive than walk-in pharmacies.
  • Take advantage of cost-saving opportunities. Look into discounts or incentives from your health plan or employer for things like gym memberships, weight-loss programs, vision care and smoking cessation.