Healthcare is something I’m thinking more and more about these days. I’m not the sprightly 22-year-old I once was, and now I don’t just worry about my health, but my husband’s, too. As an acupuncturist by day, I see the effect of poor health management and the toll of high healthcare costs every day, and it breaks my heart. I don’t wish that stress on anyone.
But there’s so little information on ways to combat the rising price of healthcare that we just sit back and keep paying. Here are some affordable ways to save on necessary medical costs and prevent small things from becoming very expensive problems.
1. Healthcare Sharing
My husband and I don’t have health insurance from our jobs, so the decision was easy for us to go with a healthcare sharing program. These not-for-profit programs are popular because they offer protection from large medical expenses at a fraction of the cost of insurance, and they count towards coverage under national healthcare law.
Another plus: I know my money is going to people who need it, not to the extravagant lifestyles of shady people. We are members of Christian Healthcare Ministries and have been really happy with it. I pay half of what I would’ve through the marketplace. Like the name implies, they do require proof of practicing Christianity. If that’s off-putting, there’s Liberty HealthShare which I’m not very familiar with, but I know doesn’t have that requirement.
I’ll admit: I’m a little biased on this one. But I’m not just another blogger telling you the benefits of acupuncture from an outside perspective; I’ve treated thousands of patients for everything from the common cold to serious chronic disorders. Most people think acupuncture is expensive, and in some places it is, but there are affordable options all over the world.
Community acupuncture clinics through the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture offer treatments on a sliding scale of $15-$40. You only pay what you can afford, so you can get the number of treatments you need to feel better. Whatever your health concern is from stress and anxiety to digestive troubles or neuropathy, acupuncture is an affordable method of treatment for most people.
3. Buy Prescriptions Online
If you have a recurring prescription, look into seeing if you can get it online. As a cash payer, I saved $40 on a prescription I’d been getting from a traditional pharmacy by switching to online. It’s as easy as searching for your prescription to see what your options are and filling in your doctor’s name and number at checkout so they can confirm on their end. I’ve used HealthWarehouse.com and had a great experience.
4. Wear Your Glasses
I’ve been in glasses since I was 8, and contacts since I was 12. Those things add up quickly, and once you’re in them, there’s no going back (unless you’re fortunate enough to afford Lasik. This year, I vowed to wear my glasses at least 1 day a week to save money on contacts. I discovered Eyebuy Direct when a friend posted about them on Instagram. Their frames start at $9, and their premium line starts at $49 (and includes lenses!). Needless to say, I’m wearing my glasses more than one day a week now, and cutting back on how often I buy contacts.
5. Diet & Exercise
“Wealthy people think long term while the middle class think short term.” Keith Cameron Smith said that in his book The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class. What’s true about wealth is true about health. The best way to prevent a major medical emergency down the line is to be intentional today.
There are a ton of free and thrifty ways to stay active, like running, walking, biking, or online fitness classes. It takes little extra effort to commit to cooking healthy meals at home and avoid overindulging in rich foods. But just think — every effort now is a dollar saved in the future.
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