Our age is one of the inglorious uncertain, of stress, of urban hazards. The genie of hospitalization is always lurking round the corner. The result can be huge gaping hole in your pocket due to the medical bills. The simplest way to curb your mounting expenses is to keep a comprehensive health plan ready for emergencies. This is also by far the surest way to save. And the first step to this sure shot money saver is to be an intelligent and informed patient.
When you fall ill, here are ten things you need to take care of besides your health.
1. IF ILL DON’T PANIC :
Most diseases are viral strikes, cured in 2 – 3 weeks. Visit a qualified doctor; follow his prescription; and do not discontinue the course midway just because you feel all right, or the medication leaves you drowsy. If in doubt, you can always get a second or even a third opinion but do not deviate form of discontinue your prescription on your own.
2. DON’ KEEP MUM :
Even if your doctor seems to get irritated with queries, do not give up .Ask questions make sure all the procedures advised are actually necessary.
3. GET HEALTH INSURANCE :
This is mandatory for saving money on medical bills, especially in case of hospitalization. An insurance cover plays a major role in providing you tension free treatment relieving your burdern.However, you have to choose your cover prudently.Most insurers now offer a cashless claim facility, which means that a medi claim policy holder will not have to run around paying hospital bills and then getting them reimbursed later. However this facility can usually arrived only at hospitals covered under the network. So check that hospitals in your area are listed. Look for extras such as ambulance facilities and periodical checkups at no extra cost.
4. REQUEST A GENERIC DRUG :
Whenever you get a prescription, ask your doctor for a generic option. A generic drug is usually cheaper than the brand name drugs, but needn’t be inferior. In fact, they are bioequivalent-that is, they act on the body exactly same way; are comparable in terms of dosage, safety and strength; and are hence equally effective. This can be a huge money saver. To take common instance, a generic paracetamol costs lower amount whereas the branded formulations can costs up to Rs 15 each.
5. AVOID BEING OVERCHARGED :
Hospital bills often run into Lakhs.So check it over well – there have been cases where patients have been over charged. If in doubt, consult your attending doctor. If you then feel you were overcharged, report it to the medical suprintendt.In most cases, the doctor or the hospital is happy to rectify the error.
6. BEWARE OF DUPLICATE TESTS :
Always ask the doctor the kind and frequency of blood tests-rays and CT scans called for until you’re absolutely convinced they are necessary. Most people save all their old test reports but don’t keep them properly filed. Other than saving you the money on re-test, the habit of maintaining your medical records on file could go a long way in helping your doctor arrive at a firm diagnosis a history helps him ascertain the best course of treatment.
7. STAY HOME ON WEEK ENDS :
If your aliment does not amount to emergency, avoid getting hospitalized over the weekend. Reason? Well, most of the doctors are off on their weekends, and you needn’t risk being in the hands of a junior doctor unless it’s unavoidable.
8. DON’T HESITATE TO DISCUSS YOUR MONEY SITUATION :
Don’t shy away from discussing any financial constrains you may have with your doctor. Most doctors are happy to provide viable alternatives that can help you manage your bills.
9. KEEP EMERGENCY NUMBERS OF NEARBY HOSPITALS AT HAND :
And if you are a chronic patients, always identify an alternative doctor for emergencies in case of your regular or family physician unavailable.
10. GET REGULAR CHECK-UPS AT A HOSPITAL FOR NOMINAL FEES :
Most healthcare institutes now lean to preventive care. So, according to your need, go for the executive packages offered in hospitals. They are much cheaper than going for a set of separate tests at a laboratory. Keep your reports in a file, so that in case of hospitalization, there is no need to undergo a whole battery of tests.
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