Being Smart about Spending Money for Health Care

The health care debate will rage through the summer and throughout the rest of the year. The final results will affect all of us but regardless of how it turns out there are things you can and should do right now that can lower your health care costs and the costs to the rest of us.

Understand the difference between “need” and “want”—you may want the latest birth control pill, anti-hypertensive, cholesterol-lowering agent but you don’t “need” it. Birth control pills have been around since 1960 and the remainder of these drug classes has been around for decades. There are plenty of generics available and they’re far cheaper. I don’t take name-brand drugs and you should think about doing the same.

Because you think you “need” to go to an emergency room for your sore throat or upset stomach or lower abdominal cramp doesn’t mean you should go there. Don’t take medical advice from friends—it’s often expensive, wrong and pointless. Numerous women go to emergency rooms every year because their mother told them that they may have an ovarian cyst—as if that were somehow dangerous or rare. Some ovarian cysts are dangerous—but very, very few. Continue reading “Being Smart about Spending Money for Health Care”