Thursday, February 26, 2009

Save Money on Health Care

If you're worried about the cost of medical care, you're not alone. And the more costly medical care becomes, the less likely people may be to carry health insurance or seek care when they need it. While there doesn't seem to be any relief in sight for health care costs, these are the things you can do to ease the burden on your wallet:
  • Adopt healthy habits. You know what this means: Exercise at least 30 minutes most days; eat low-fat foods and a variety of fruits and vegetables each day; don't use tobacco; and if you drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. These actions may help you avoid the need for medical care.
  • Seek preventive care. These are annual exams, flu shots, mammograms and blood pressure checks. They can help prevent disease or lead to early detection. Talk with your doctor about your risks for conditions such as heart disease and cancer. Then follow his/her advice for preventive screenings.
  • Ask for less expensive medications. Share your drug formulary with your doctor. A formulary is a list of medications your insurance company will help you pay for. In addition, ask your doctor to prescribe generic drugs-which are less expensive than brand-name drugs-when possible.
  • Wash your hands. Most colds and flu are spread in droplets from coughs and sneezes. Washing your hands with soap and warm water for 15-20 seconds can help stop the spread and keep you healthy.