Monday, April 11, 2011

Negotiate With Your Doctor

After hearing that I don't negotiate at yard sales, you're likely surprised already. I'm no expert on health care, but here are a few things I've learned over the past few years.

*Most bills are negotiable, especially if you are seeing a specialist or dealing with a hospital (for example, surgery or the ER). Just today I took my daughter to yet another ENT appointment, where at the end they asked if I would like to pay my balance. Thinking about our tax refund, I asked if we could pay it at our next appointment. She said sure, but if I would like to pay today she would take 20% off. No brainer. If you get a bill in the mail call and ask if you can get a discount for paying it faster, we got a pretty large discount by paying for my daughter's surgery right away instead of waiting until the bill was due.

*Save money on prescription medication by asking for generic substitutes when possible, and also asking for available discounts. You won't find too many discounts if you have a co-pay or if you are going to a chain pharmacy. When I was getting my daughter's acid reflux medication at a local pharmacy and it wasn't covered by our insurance, the $120/mo bill was not a fun one, all I did was ask if we had any other options and the woman said "sure how does $15/mo sound?". Again, no brainer.

*Shop drug stores for over the counter medication, and take advantage of sales combined with coupons and rebates. Honestly, I have an entire drug store of medication in our bathroom upstairs and have gotten it all for free. The best part is having the medicine on hand when you get sick, that's the last time you feel like running out to the store.

*If you need to see a doctor on the weekend and your physician isn't open, try a CVS clinic. We have been several times and were happy with the service. It was a $60 flat fee for us, you can get a prescription right there and the wait time is very short. This also works great for sports physicals and flu shots, but they do not see children under 18 months I believe.

*Transfer a prescription medication. Both Rite Aid and CVS offer $25 gift certificates if you transfer a prescription medication to their pharmacy (you can get up to 2, so $50 total). All you have to do is call and tell them where the prescription is currently located and they will take care of the rest. Look for the coupons in the Sunday ads for each store.

*Everyone knows this, but in case you don't Publix has free antibiotics. The pharmacy sometimes has a long wait, but if you have several sickies in your household, this one can add up quickly.

Have a tip to share? Please comment below!

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