All of us are looking for ways to save money. One cost savings that many of us do not think about, is out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Here are some not so every day thinking cost saving tips:

ASK QUESTIONS

Ask your doctor how much a recommended treatment or prescription drug will cost, and if it’s the most cost-effective solution. Sometimes an X-ray will do the trick instead of a MRI, and generic drugs are just as effective as name brands.

ASK ABOUT ANY EXTRA DISCOUNTS

Some providers will give a discount if you pay up front for charges. You can then be directly reimbursed by your insurance provider. For instance, at a dental office, if you pay up front for charges and file your own claim, you could receive a 10%-20% discount on services!

ASK YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT PRESCRIPTION SAVINGS

For example, the 30-day cost for 20mg tablets can be about the same as the 30-day cost for 40mg tablets. You may be able to get the larger tablet and split it in half, saving you more than $840 per year. Note that it’s safe to split only certain kinds of medications.  Ask your doctor if you can save money by taking one pill a day instead of two. For instance, if you take a 10mg pill twice a day, ask if the medication will be just as effective if you take one 20mg pill once a day.

DO SOME SHOPPING

Have you ever considered shopping for the best quality and best price for a procedure or surgery? Look at healthcare this way -it’s the product, and you are the consumer. Did you know you could negotiate? Hospitals and other providers are sometimes willing to reduce healthcare costs based on what you can afford. Compare pharmacies. Did you realize different pharmacies charge different amounts for the same medication?

FIND LOWER-COST AFTER HOURS CARE

The average in-network cost of an emergency-room visit is over $900, which you’d likely pay out of pocket with a high-deductible policy. But a visit to a walk-in clinic costs on average $71, and to a convenience-care clinic at a pharmacy, averages $33.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE BENEFITS

Schedule a screening. Many insurance plans must provide certain preventive-care screenings without charging deductibles or co-payments. Check with your plan about covering diabetes and cholesterol tests, mammograms, colonoscopies, flu shots, routine vaccines, well-baby and well-child visits, and other preventive services.