7 ways to help save on healthcare

President Obama addressed healthcare costs twice in his inauguration speech. Words that spoke directly to 64-year-old John Campbell.

"You've got to pay co-payments on just about everything now," said John Campbell.

He lives on a fixed income. John just found out the clinic where he had a colonoscopy is no longer on his insurance plan. The result was a very big bill.

"It was like $2400," said John Campbell.

"If you're ever stuck with a big medical bill try not to be angry about it. You should try to work through it, and see if there's a way to make it less," said Dr. John de Beixedon.

Internist Dr. John de Beixedon says negotiating or working out payments with your doctor is always a possibility. Ask about the cash price. A doctor's visit might be $200 for the insurance company, but only $90 if you pay cash.

"They have a specific cash price and usually it's something that is much more comfortable," said Dr. John de Beixedon.

No one can predict a trip to the ER. So before an emergency, Dr. de Beixedon says make sure your designated hospital is on your insurance. Some large hospitals don't take certain plans.

And double check numeric codes on medical bills with your doctor. An input error could be costing you.

"A transposition of two numbers might completely change what the code is," said Dr. John de Beixedon.

Take advantage of health spending plans that allow you deposit pre-tax dollars.

At the pharmacy, always ask for the cash price of all your prescriptions.

Also, get a pre-authorization with your insurance company before any tests or exams. This could eliminate surprise bills.

And remember that lifestyle changes can go along way in saving your money and your health.

"You can try and work on yourself so that you can prevent that heart attack or stroke -- that is within our power," said Dr. John de Beixedon.

And one note about generic drugs, while it can save you money, beware of generic thyroid medications, birth control pills, estrogen replacement and heart burn drugs. Dr. de Beixedon says those generics are not always bio-equivalent to the originals, so they may not work for you.



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