The cost of healthcare in the US has been growing for decades until now; it is the single biggest concern for people. Deductibles, drug prices, and costs of operations can cripple a family’s finances and can cause real emotional distress. With the Affordable Care Act under threat and people with pre-existing conditions understandably worried about potential changes to the healthcare system, everyone is looking for ways to reduce their healthcare costs and protect their families.
With pharmaceutical companies not showing any signs of reducing their drug prices any time soon, people need to take it into their hands to find ways to make their medication more affordable. This article is a guide to some of the steps you can take if you can’t afford your medication.
1. Source Medicine Abroad
Unfortunately for people in the US, outrageous pharmaceutical prices are a uniquely American phenomenon. The totally free market in the US gives drug companies carte blanche to set their drug prices at any level they wish. In most other countries, however, there are government regulations on how much the drug companies are allowed to charge.
Furthermore, many other countries have a national health service or big government subsidies, so people’s drugs are significantly cheaper than those in the US. It is possible to reduce the price of your medications by taking your prescription with you when you go on vacation. The doctor will be able to fill your prescription, and you will only have to pay the local prices. If you live near the Canadian or Mexican border, you can take a trip across the border purely for the reason of getting drugs cheaper on the other side.
2. Join a Group Health Plan Through Your Job
These days, because of the high healthcare costs, the number one employee benefit that people are looking for from their jobs is healthcare. Unfortunately for employers, however, the cost of healthcare benefits for employees means that this can place a major financial burden on employers. The experts from GroupEnroll.ca explain that one popular way for employers to reduce healthcare costs, which also reduces the portion that employees must pay, is by taking out a group healthcare insurance plan for all of their employees.
This is far more affordable than multiple individual plans as the risk to the insurance company is spread across all of the workers at a company. As all are still young enough to be working and most will be totally healthy, the insurance company can rest assured that the majority of members of the group will not need any expensive healthcare.
3. Try Alternative Medicine
We live in a world where science and healthcare are intrinsically linked and in which many of us are very derisive of traditional medicines. However, many of these so-called “alternative treatments” have been shown to have some real positive effects on a number of different injuries and illnesses.
Particularly for preventative medicine and chronic pain relief, there are so many different kinds of herbs, balms, and other treatments that can provide you with the help you need but at a fraction of the price of your normal medication. As well as these treatments, acupuncture and other Eastern practices have had some fantastic results in helping people who suffer from arthritis, joint problems, and other chronic conditions.
4. Make Lifestyle Changes
There are many conditions in which people are suffering, which require daily medication to deal with. A lot of common conditions, however, are actually due to poor diet or lifestyle and so the symptoms of these illnesses can be mitigated by making some lifestyle changes. Type 2 diabetes is one of the most rapidly increasing health problems in the world, but the majority of people develop it because of a bad diet and lack of exercise. Type 2 diabetes drugs can be very expensive, but by making diet changes and exercising regularly, you can help to deal with the disease and ultimately will not have to spend so much money on medicine.
The cost of healthcare is a huge worry for so many people these days, and the cost of prescription drugs, in particular, can cause a major impact on families’ finances. The pharmaceutical companies are showing no inclination to drop their prices any time soon, and with the government not being able or willing to effectively get them under control, it has unfortunately been left to individuals to try and sort out cheaper medicines for themselves. While there are no easy solutions, there are certain steps you can take to mitigate the costs yourself. Try out the suggestions in this article, and remember that healthcare is a right, not a privilege.