Hospitalization or a lengthy medical treatment can be very costly. It is quite common for patients to gasp with horror when the final medical bills come in from the hospital or from the treatment facility. Huge, and sometimes unexpected, medical expenses are often the cause of draining savings, putting the annual household budget in disarray and creating a lot of pressure/stress on the patient or his family regarding the bill payment. 

But there are ways to reduce your hospital/treatment bills. Here are some tips for a quick and safe solution to minimise your medical bills:

Do your online research to compare costs

When your doctor prescribes a procedure or prescription drugs, do your own research online to find out more about what the procedure will entail, its relevance to your health and importantly the costs. The internet is a boon for information and there is really nothing that you can’t find out about your medical queries. In addition to getting all the information, you can also search for the best specialists, facilities (nowadays every field has feedback regarding the service quality, even hospitals & doctors have ratings) that will suit your requirements. Compare costs of few hospitals and then make an informed decision.

Get a detailed cost break up

Before agreeing to any procedure talk to your doctor to get an estimate of the total cost. Also insist on a detailed, itemized bill from the hospital/treatment facility for all costs charged to you for services and/or inpatient stay so that you know the exact break up of what you are paying for.

Opt for generic medicines 

If your doctor has prescribed a certain branded medicine for you, always ask if a generic medication equivalent is available for the same. The generic medicine price will be substantially lower than the branded one. Due to certain misconceptions, it is natural to ask yourself the question, is generic medicine safe? The answer to that is, yes generic medicines have the same chemical composition as the expensive branded ones, the same potency, dose, method of intake, manufacturing quality, and are as safe to use as the prescription medicines. Also, you can buy generic medicine online, which can save time, effort and of course cost. 

Negotiate your final bill

When we purchase something, say furniture or a TV or a mobile, we naturally ask the dealer for any discounts that they can pass on. Hospital/medical bills are also payment made for a service provided. So when you get the final bill, try and talk to the accounts/billing department to see if any discounts can be obtained. Be courteous and be aware of what other hospitals are charging for the same. The hospitals also want a positive brand recommendations from patients and may consent to give you a discount.

Know the details of your medical insurance cover

You opt for a medical procedure, relaxed in the belief that your medical insurance will cover the cost. When the final bill comes to you, contact your insurance provider for initiating the process, only to be told that, that particular procedure was not covered under your medical insurance plan. In such a scenario you end up paying the full cost out of your own pocket.

To avoid this, make sure you read your coverage plan in full detail before opting for any particular treatment/procedure. The health insurance policy manual outlines which charges are covered and which are not covered. Accordingly, ask your doctor if any alternate treatment or procedure is available for the one suggested (if that is not covered under your medical insurance).

Make sure you have a payment plan in place

If your treatment/procedure is not covered by your medical insurance plan, and if you are unable to make the payment in full then talk to the billing department to see if any installment payment plan can be worked out. This will distribute the burden of the bill into more smaller and more manageable payments over a period of time.

Hospital bills can be overwhelming for most of us. But if you take the time to get the correct information about the most cost effective hospitals & doctors, choose generic medicines over branded ones, are aware of what is covered and not covered in your medical insurance and work closely with the billing/accounts staff of the hospital, it is possible to minimise your medical bills.

The best place to buy generic medicines is StayHappi Pharmacy, India’s fastest growing retail pharmacy chain, with over 250 stores in more than 60 cities, which is dedicated to making medicines and treatments available to all, at the most affordable prices.

Through their intensive network across India, StayHappi Pharmacy offers top grade medical services to its patients including high quality generic medicines that cost substantially lower than branded drugs, body and healthcare products, doctor consultation, surgical items as well as medical devices.  If you need more information on affordable generic medicines or other medical services, please visit the StayHappi Pharmacy website.