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Navigating the ever rising healthcare costs

The cost of healthcare always seems to spiral upwards. More so in our part of the world where private healthcare predominates the market for those seeking quality and can afford it. If you aren’t careful, you might find yourself on the wrong end of the stick with healthcare costs. But there are steps you can take to get the best of healthcare, without necessarily breaking the bank.

If you never get sick, and have found a way of maintaining optimal health longterm, you can get away with zero healthcare expenses. But that’s utopian and hardly achievable. Alternatively you can aim for a healthy lifestyle, combined with preventive measures that may end up minimizing visits to doctors, and accrue ample savings. All ordinary folk will however end up with healthcare expenses at some point. The trick is learning what to pay for, and how much. Or not paying anything at all.

For starters, always compare costs between different healthcare providers. But don’t focus only on the figures, cheap healthcare may cost your life in the long run. Try and understand why it costs more in one place compared to another. Some seemingly more expensive health facilities might actually translate into better value in terms of quality and desired clinical outcomes. But equally, more expensive doesn’t always equate to better.

You must also be keenly aware of treatment options for whatever ails you. You may sometimes be offered the most expensive treatment option, when alternate options are equally effective and more affordable. Question your doctor on what else could be done to treat your condition, and why that hasn’t been offered. The business of medicine may sometimes veer medical advice towards more expensive pathways, in the interests of eventual bottom-lines.

Medical insurance is far better than paying for your healthcare out of pocket. Search for a suitable insurer, and talk your way up to affordable premiums. Read the small print, some insurers will coax you with seemingly sweet deals, only to find a multitude of exclusions for certain medical conditions. Be reluctant to accept those who force you to only get healthcare with a few preselected providers. That only limits your choice, without necessarily saving any dimes.

There are many healthcare fads that cost money, but at best leave you in status quo. It’s your duty to filter out what is beneficial, and what is really a business gimmick. If unsure, seek an alternate view elsewhere. Many continue to spend huge sums on unnecessary medical interventions, some have ended up on the other side, and a bit broke.

No amount of money is worth your life. But being prudent on healthcare spending cannot be gainsaid.

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