Getting sick, in America anyway, certainly isn’t cheap! While most of us live under pretty impressive private insurance or Medicaid plans through our jobs, insurance will only get you so far. For many people, getting diagnosed with a chronic illness will not only cause major damage to their physical and mental well being, but will also deliver a huge blow to their personal finances. If you’re living with a chronic illness and you’re feeling the strain on your account, here are some tips on how to cope.
Learn About Insurance
Insurance is a pretty dry subject, so most people will simply make sure they’re covered for various worst-case scenarios, and then forget about their insurance until it’s absolutely necessary to pull out all the paperwork. However, if you want to maintain healthy personal finances when living with a chronic illness, it’s essential to do some research into your health insurance before you reach your open annual enrolment. Compare your premiums, costs, deductibles, maximum out-of-pocket expenses, co-pays and prescription coverage. If you’re married, then go through all your costs and compare them with your partner’s plan. If you need help making heads or tails of your policy, make an appointment with your HR department, and bring records of medical expenses from the past year so you can choose the best coverage for your needs.
Assess Your Legal Options
Like many, you may have a strong hostility to the “suing culture” our nation seems to be going through. While there are certainly people who take advantage of it, there are others who genuinely deserve to seek compensation, and you could be among them. If, for example, your health condition was caused by some kind of negligence by your employer, you may be able to mount a strong personal injury case against them. Sometimes illnesses can be caused by medical negligence, which often leads to legal action against the person’s doctor. From relief of benzene damages to more commonplace conditions, there are a range of attorneys specializing in any number of severe medical conditions. If your personal finances are severely strained by your condition, then do a little research and find out if you can seek compensation from a person or institution.
Shop Around for Prescriptions
Despite what the ads would have you believe, medicines under different brand names are all more or less the same, provided they contain the same chemical compounds. With this in mind, you can alleviate the financial burden of your illness by shopping around for cheaper prescriptions. There are many different ways to find lower rates for prescriptions, such as 90-day mail orders, $4 generics and pill splitting. Get in contact with several different pharmacies in your area, and take notes of their lowest prices for prescriptions. Some chain pharmacies, like the ones run by Costco, will offer a discount for those who aren’t covered for prescriptions. Whenever your doctor prescribes something new, you should also ask for a sample before getting anything in bulk. This will ensure you don’t waste money if you turn out to be allergic, or experience bad side-effects.
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