Friday, January 11, 2013

Save money at the doc...Part 28?

This month's AllYou magazine has some pretty useful information on saving cash on medical bills.

I think I have mentioned Carebluebook.com before. Visit to check the average cost of certain procedures in your area. Sites like this are a boon for folks with alarmist relatives like mine. They love to self-diagnose and draft imaginary invoices for future medical procedures.

The first time I went to the dentist I thought they would keep one of my teeth as payment for a cleaning because I didn't have insurance. Turns out it was only $60. If I had visited this site instead of asking my aunts my stress levels would have been much lower!

Goodrx.com does the same thing with medication.

ALWAYS check the cost of medications before filling out an rx. Prices on these things are ridiculous and the uninsured get screwed so badly on it.

The article polled 3 common meds:

1. Simvastatin for cholesterol was $6 at Costco and $50 at RiteAid
2. Azithromycin, an antibiotic went from $10 at Costco to $57 at Kmart
3. Metformin for diabetes was $4 at Walmart and Target but $4 at RiteAid

Remember you on't need a membership card to ill prescriptions at Costco, Sam's or BJ's. Just tell the guard you are there for meds and they will let you right in.

This last thing was super interesting and quoted here in its entirety:

Asking your doctor if she will accept less for her services before a procedure gives you more leverage (and the choice of looking for a better price) than if you are left to negotiate with the billing department later. For invoices greater than $5,000, consider hiring a negotiator - find one at mymedicalnegotiator.com. The company's fee is 35% of your savings - if it saves you 5% o less, the service is free. Or, hire a medical billing advocate (try billadvocates.com).

I didn't know these were even jobs!

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