Despite improvements in the job market and overall economy, a recent study shows that many of us remain unprepared for a personal financial emergency, including the next recession. Nearly half of all Americans are still living paycheck-to-paycheck, and 66% don’t have enough savings to cover six months worth of expenses. 

It’s hard enough to make ends meet on a tight budget when things are going your way. Getting sick, however, can be all that it takes to wreck your finances. 

Even if you don’t miss work and lose income, healthcare costs are very expensive. Prescriptions and other medical care have become so costly that some have to choose between buying food and getting the medication they need to survive.

Healthy, cost-lowering strategies can help you save money so that you are better prepared when an unexpected medical bill or other expense occurs. The following few tips can help you reduce your healthcare costs.

Check Prices

If you feel really sick, you could be tempted to get your prescription filled at the nearest pharmacy. Resist this costly urge. Instead, take a few moments to compare prices before you buy. 

While you could call all of the drugstores in your area for a price check, use a specialty app like Lowest Med, to help you compare prices and find price lowering coupons. This way, you save both time and money!

Track Claims and Pay Your Medical Expenses

Medical care isn’t just expensive. Keeping up with all of the documents that it generates can be quite a hassle. Use an online service like Simplee to track and manage all of your medical information from one location. This site’s app allows you to track your balances and pay online, making it easier to keep up with your receipts. 

One of its best features is that it keeps up with your claims and allows you to see at a glance which ones have processed. While many medical practices and hospitals file claims electronically with providers, your insurance company may need additional information from you before they will pay. This makes it even more important to stay on top of which claims have been processed. Forget to file, or submit requested information in a timely manner, and you may lose out! 

Virtual Consults

Seeing the doctor for a simple cold or routine checkup will cost you more than just the fee for the office visit. You’re also out the time it takes to travel to and from the office, and, the cost of the gas and wear and tear on your vehicle. Not to mention the time you will likely spend tied up in the waiting room. 

If you need medical advice, but you’re not experiencing a true emergency, you can save money by using an online telemedicine service that offers virtual consultations.  These visits are typically conducted online, and allow you to see a doctor or other healthcare professional from the comfort of your home or office. They also offer a significant savings over the cost of a traditional office visit!

These and other money-saving apps and sites make it easier for everyone to take charge of their healthcare, and better manage their costs. All of which makes it easier to stay within your budget, and achieve your personal financial goals!