As if it wasn’t enough that we have to deal with physical pain, emotional stress, and mental duress, arthritis is also known for the profound financial impact it makes on sufferers lives.
Statistically, medical care costs and earnings losses have reached up to $303.5 billion in the US alone. So are there ways to help manage your finances better if you suffer from arthritis? Try these tips below:
1. Check your coverage
Clarify exactly what your insurance covers when it comes to your condition. Avoid surprises. Arthritis flare ups can send you running to the ER in the most unexpected moments. If you don’t know exactly what your insurance company is able to cover, you might end up having to pay for unexpected medical bills.
Take the time to call your insurance provider and check your medical policy. Take notes if you have to. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
2. Set up a flexible spending account (FSA)
Check if your employer offers an FSA. This basically means you can set aside a portion of your pay check automatically so you can save for any out-of-pocket medical costs. Consult your HR and inquire about the program.
If they don’t, you can always do this yourself. Set aside a portion of your salary as an emergency out-of-pocket fund.
3. Don’t throw out any paperwork
Did you know that 16% of people can lose money or may incur unnecessary charges simply because they weren’t able to present the paperwork required? When you have a condition like arthritis, be sure to keep all your receipts and important documents, even those from buying compression gloves or knee supports. And don’t just dump it all in one box either. Keep it organized. Segregate prescriptions, insurance documents, medical and pharmacy receipts and other important paperwork. You never know when you might need to present proof for tax exemptions or if you need to present proof that you actually already settled the bill for a certain procedure.
Keep in mind though, that because policies are renewed annually, be sure to shred expired paperwork to avoid confusion.
4. Double check referrals
If your medical practitioner or healthcare team refers you to another specialist, be sure that they are included in your plan first; otherwise, you might have to pay for new fees or unnecessary medical bills. Double check with your insurance company.
5. Go generic
Generic drugs will cost less versus their brand-name counterparts. If you’re prescribed an over-the-counter brand name medication, check with your doctor if a generic version is available and if you can opt for that instead.
6. Open up if there are financial constraints
It’s best to have an open line of communication between yourself and your healthcare team. Let them know if you don’t necessarily have the financial resources to get all the medicine and tests or treatment that they are offering. This way, your doctor can help you find a more suitable and appropriate treatment plan without sacrificing efficacy.
If you’ve been dealing with arthritis for as long as we have, I’m sure you also have your own cost saving tips that you can share. We’d love to hear all about it. Leave a comment below and tell us about it.