As someone who’s self-employed, I must deal with my own healthcare costs. Plus, if you choose not to have insurance you’re fined when it’s time to file your taxes.
What a hassle, right?
Anyway, after dealing with this for a few years, I’ve found a few smart strategies for cutting back on healthcare costs. In today’s guide, I’m going to show you what you can do to cut down on your healthcare costs.
When you’re young and healthy you don’t need to have healthcare insurance. I have no pre-existing conditions and no signs of serious illness, and I have no history of serious illness, so why would I or anyone else in their twenties pay a lot of money every year for insurance that isn’t going to be used?
Only these days you’ll have to pay a fine if you don’t have insurance, so what are you to do?
I just pay the fine for the insurance. Last year my tax fine for not having insurance was $700, but that was still way cheaper than the insurance I never used anyway, so it’s a good deal. For most young, self-employed people, this is the same reality for them.
But what about if you’re sick or something comes up?
For anyone with a chronic illness, I always recommend that you have insurance. But if you haven’t visited a hospital in years and don’t plan on having children, it’s pointless.
Plus, I have some cool services, like SingleCare, that allow me to get the treatment I need and avoid paying the expensive costs of health insurance.
The secret to saving on those minor treatments and regular prescriptions is SingleCare. This is a card that can save you up to 80% on your prescriptions. It covers dental care, trips to the optician, pharmaceuticals, and more.
It only gets more powerful the more you use it, just like any discount card at your favorite store. I have used it for my dental trips and my pharmacy prescriptions.
For example, if you’re someone who is trying to quit smoking the card can really cut down on the Chantix cost, which is a medication that helps people quit smoking. I’ve been trying to quit smoking this year, so if Chantix does turn out to be the best option for me, it’s great to know that I won’t have to pay full price.
Sometimes things happen and a trip to the ER is necessary. Unfortunately, the ER is expensive for anyone without insurance.
Patient First is a great alternative because you can see a real doctor without paying for an ER visit. The rules state that uninsured patients can’t be charged more than $300 for a visit. But it’s rare that an uninsured patient will ever be charged the full amount.
The times that I went to Patient First I paid around $150.
Another benefit of using Patient First over the ER is that the waiting times tend to be shorter. Most of the time, you’ll be seen in less than an hour. It’s a much better value for money than going to the ER. Trust me, this is coming from someone who has racked up a couple of $1000 in medical debt over the years going to the ER. Now that it’s gone, I don’t plan to make any more trips there.
This is probably the best piece of advice for anyone who’s self-employed. Staying healthy is always easier when you don’t need to see a doctor for anything in the first place. Most conventional ailments experienced by young people are almost entirely avoidable, and getting into healthy habits now can prevent big, expensive problems as you get older.
Living a healthier lifestyle to avoid taking visits to the doctor has been a priority this year for me as well. I’ve cut back on smoking, attend kickboxing classes more, and have started taking more weekends off from work.
When you have insurance you likely don’t spend too long looking at the medical bills because you know that everything has been covered. When you’re self-employed you don’t have this sort of luxury. You need to spend more time reviewing your medical bills, and the various codes attached to each entry.
Get an itemized bill and make sure that what’s on the bill is what you actually got. Clerical errors are not uncommon and you may be paying more than your fair share because you didn’t raise the issue with the billing department.
Did you know that many brand name drugs have generic equivalents that essentially do the same thing? With prescription drug costs rising all the time, it’s worth it to investigate alternatives to brand name drugs that can be bought from your local pharmacy.
Generics are not the same drugs, but they have a lot of similarities and can be substituted in a lot of cases. Just make sure you do your research if you’re going to swap out treatments.
The best thing I ever did was not sweat about not having insurance. With insurance costs so high, it doesn’t make sense for someone young and in relative good health to pay for these plans. SingleCare has been a great alternative for me, and if you’re willing to stay away from the brand name drugs you can save even more money. Now my healthcare is way more affordable than before.
Do you have any thoughts on how you can cut down on your healthcare costs if you’re self-employed?