Over the past few years, expenses have been adding up for the American consumer. Inflation adds yet another level of stress. In 2023, 60% of workers report they are living paycheck to paycheck. Healthcare costs are a top financial worry, with more than half of U.S. adults reporting they have difficulty affording the costs of care. Even those who are covered by health insurance feel the financial burden of unexpected bills. Financial stress leads to poor decision making, like skipping exams, avoiding treatment or opting out of health insurance. Instead of delaying the healthcare you need, there are things you can do to make it more affordable. Here are five tried and true ways to reduce your healthcare costs, without sacrificing your health:
Stay in the network. The most important thing you can do to save money on healthcare is to make sure you are receiving care from in-network doctors and hospitals. This includes medical facilities that have agreed to contract with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas to provide you care at a discounted rate, such as labs, imaging services, blood work and tests that you may need. When you have care outside the network, you may pay more. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas contracts with 99% of all medical doctors and 100% of eligible hospitals. Search for in-network doctors, hospitals and facilities using our online provider directory.
Find a primary care provider. Having a primary care provider (PCP) you know and trust means having a healthcare advocate who can help you manage your overall care. When looking for a PCP, find someone who is in-network, actively listens, helps you understand diagnosis and treatment options, and involves you in your health decisions. To locate a PCP, visit our website.
Don’t skip preventive care. Meeting with your PCP annually for preventive exams is an investment in your health. In most cases, members will only pay a copay for preventive care. Preventive exams such as mammograms, colonoscopies and prostate cancer screenings are the best value in healthcare because you can catch health problems early, when they are easier and less expensive to treat. Preventive screenings also help you stay up to date on important immunizations and tests. Learn more about preventive screenings.
Know where to go for care. Doing simple things like going to a doctor’s office for common health concerns, instead of the emergency room, can save you a lot of money. If your primary doctor isn’t available and you need care quickly, but it is not an emergency, urgent care is an affordable choice. Virtual care, also known as telehealth, is a way to receive non-emergency care from a board-certified doctor from your phone, tablet or computer. Read this article for more information about where to go and when.
Sign up or sign in to BlueAccess®. Understanding how your health plan works goes a long way to help you save money and avoid surprise medical bills. With BlueAccess, all your personalized health plan information is at your fingertips. You can find what your insurance does — and doesn’t — cover, find all your claims information, and see how close you are to meeting your deductible or out-of-pocket maximums. Download the mobile app for quick access to your personal health plan information. (bcbsks.com/app)