6. Get a Pet
Not only can it be rewarding to have a pet, but it can provide tangible health benefits, too. The decline in office visits and the reduced frequency of obesity associated with pet ownership can lead to savings of about $86 per year in medical costs, according to a 2015 report from the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation.
7. Check Your Bill for Errors
According to a 2017 study by Medliminal Healthcare Solutions, four out of five medical bills contain at least small errors, costing Americans an astonishing $68 billion.
Protect yourself from overpaying by carefully reviewing every bill that you receive and disputing any potential errors. If anything looks off or you don’t understand a charge, contact the provider.
8. Shop Around for Care
Shop around to find the best price and quality for elective procedures within your insurance network. You can start by checking Healthcare Bluebook to get a sense of what a fair price for the procedure might be in your geographic area. Then call around to a few providers and ask for a quote based on your health insurance.
No matter the cost of your elective procedure, you should also be aware that you have payment options. A PenFed personal loan can help you afford what you want done as it offers loans up to $20,000. And with terms up to 60 months1, you won’t feel rushed to pay it off.
1$20,000 loan at 6.49% APR, 60 monthly payments of approximately $391.23
9. Carefully Select a Healthcare Plan
When it comes to deciding on a health insurance plan, choosing the correct plan upfront can potentially save you thousands in medical expenses throughout the year. Still, more than 90% of workers say they choose the same benefits every year, and 80% spend less than an hour researching benefit options before making a selection, according to a 2016 Aflac poll.
10. Take Advantage of Wellness Programs
Companies are increasingly investing in wellness programs that encourage workers to take steps to monitor and improve their health — such as signing up for biometric screenings, health assessments and physical activity programs. To increase employee participation in such programs, a growing number of employers are now offering incentives like money, gift cards, reduced health insurance premiums or contributions to an HSA or FSA, according to a 2015 report by the National Business Group on Health.
11. Use Your HSA
If you have a high-deductible health plan at work, then you can fund a health savings account to use for medical expenses. Unlike an FSA (flexible spending account), your HSA money is yours to keep and grows over time, so even if you don’t use it this year, you can tap it for medical expenses in the future. For 2018, you can put up to $3,450 in for an individual and $6,900 in for a family to use for medical expenses.