Here are all the articles I wrote during October, 2011. I hope they're useful to you.

October 22nd, 2011

Wanna Save Some Money (part 3)?

Getting a prescription from your doctor doesn’t mean you don’t have choices about how to spend your money.

Ask your doctor if a generic drug is available and make sure it’s in the same class of drugs as the expensive brand name drug he wants to you to buy.

Generics have the same active ingredients, strengths and dose as the more expensive brand name versions.

A single manufacturer no longer holds the (17 year!) patent, so there’s more competition to keep the price down.

Tell your doctor that if he wants you to have a brand name drug, then spend his money not yours!  Or give you free samples.

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October 21st, 2011

Wanna Save Some Money (part 2)?

Need to get lab work done, such as blood or urine tests, PAP test or biopsy?

Think about using a lab that isn’t located in or part of a hospital.

They’re often way less expensive than a hospital lab, and some health insurance plans have a lower co-pay for outside labs.

And many outside labs have more flexible hours, like when you need to go early in the morning before your half-caf-half-decaf-low-fat-vanilla-with-a-hint-of-cinammon-latte.

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October 20th, 2011

Wanna Save Some Money (part 1)?

If you have a health problem that isn’t an emergency and you can’t see your regular doctor, think about going to an in-network retail clinic, walk-in doctor’s office or urgent care center.

They can take less time than an emergency room, are open nights and weekends and could save you a TON o’money!…

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October 18th, 2011

What does it cost to…

… die?   It’s expensive!  Cedars Sinai Medical Center billed Medicare $132,000 (yes!) for ONE week of care.    I don’t want this to be morose but I do want to use my father’s death a couple of months ago as a life lesson about how to be pro-active in your own medical care.

The doctors wanted to run every diagnostic test they could think of, often more than once.   They suggested all sorts of treatments and medications.  And they knew he was terminal.

Although we kept the procedures to a minimum, the costs mounted and Medicare wound up with that outrageous bill.  What’s important here in addition to the insane cost of medical care (which the health care “reform” doesn’t even begin to address), is that Medicare reduced the hospital’s bill to $14,000 and Cedars Sinai had to write off the rest.   Really.

All PPO plans work this way!  It’s why I tell my clients to avoid paying a provider in full for medical expenses before the insurance company processes your claim.  Otherwise, it’s more than likely that you’ll overpay for your medical services and getting a refund from a provider is painful!

Fight for your money!  S/he who writes the checks has the power… not the receptionist behind the front desk or the provider’s billing service.

Talk to me about other exciting discussions you should be having with your providers… it’ll open your eyes and maybe even save you some money.

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