5 Ways To Stretch Your Healthcare Dollars

by Lisa Sims on April 8, 2010

With the passing of the Healthcare Reform Bill, healthcare as we currently know it will never be the same. No matter who you talk to, everyone has an opinion about it (good and bad). Whatever your opinion, the healthcare reform bill is what it is and it’s here to stay. Until the changes are implemented, there are some things that we can do to stretch our healthcare dollars:

  1. Exercise. I know. I know. Who has time to exercise while running a business, taking care of our families, and handling other life issues? No matter how busy we are, we must make time to exercise. Not only does exercise help relieve stress but also helps reduce early signs of aging.  Likewise, it keeps you in good shape and health which reduces the number of visits to the doctor (no co-pays). Carve out 15-30 minutes 3-4 times a week for exercise. Whether it’s walking or working out with Wii Fit, just get moving. Find out your body’s age today!
  2. Eat Healthy. Let’s face it. We all eat things that we know we shouldn’t. To help increase our life span and reduce trips to the doctor’s office, we need to take care of our bodies by eating the right foods. By eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking more water, we can increase our energy level and improve our health at the same time. This will definitely help us stretch our healthcare dollars a little further.
  3. Walk-in Clinics. Walgreens and CVS offer in-store clinics for minor issues such as flu shots, colds, physicals, etc. This can be of great benefit to those of us who can’t get an appointment to see our regular doctor when we aren’t feeling our best. You can walk-in, get evaluated by a nurse practitioner, and be on your way. They are usually open seven days a week. These clinics accept insurance but offer affordable prices if you don’t. Why not check them out.
  4. Samples. When your doctor writes you a prescription, ask if s/he has samples that s/he can give you. This can help you stretch your dollar a little further before getting the prescription filled. All you have to do is ask. I love free samples!
  5. Go Generic. If you don’t have to take a prescription medication on a regular basis, you are blessed. If you aren’t as blessed, you know that brand name medications are expensive. Whenever possible, opt for generic drugs over brand names to stretch your dollar. For example, Walmart offers many generic prescription drugs for $4 for a 3o-day supply and $10 for a 90-day supply.  Make sure that you ask for a 90-day supply prescription from your doctor to further stretch your dollar. Also, use online prescription drug pricing tools such as DestinationRx to compare prices on your prescriptions drugs. Likewise, don’t forget to compare prices through your health insurance’s prescription mail order program.

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