One Way To Save Money On Medical Bills

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I am hoping that this post will help others learn from our mistakes and  help families save money on medical bills from the first procedure instead of the second procedure like our family did.

How to apply a well know thrifty practice to medical procedures and save $100's

I am not sure how my husband and I forgot this principle after we learned it so well from a varicose vein procedure I had done many years ago.

That time around this tip I am about to share with you saved us $1000’s of out of pocket expenses. This time it saved us $100’s but it could have been just over $1000 if we had thought to have done it before procedure one and not just before procedure two.

The tip is simple, and one used to save money in many other areas of finances.

What is our most successful way to save  money on medical bills?

Call around and compare prices before you have any non emergency procedures done.

Just like you might compare prices for cell phone rates you should take the time to call around and compare prices of medical procedures where you are going to be paying a portion of the bill out of your own pocket.

Of course if you are in an emergency situation you are not going to be able to do this, but if the procedure you are having done is either routine or non- emergency than taking the time and effort to call around and compare prices from place to place can have dramatic effects on your out of pocket expenses.

Here is how this simple step saved our family just under  $600 in 2014.

I needed an ultrasound done to check on a uterine fibroid that was giving me some trouble.

The first time I simply let the front desk people at my doctor’s office set up an appointment for my towns local ultrasound center.

The out of pocket bills for that locally done ultrasound were $623.88. That is a lot of money for our  family to swallow, and it took my husband a significant amount of overtime to get it paid down.

When my doctor recommended I get a second ultrasound done several months later to make sure the ovarian cyst they saw had gone away and therefore was simply a cyst,  (there is a lot of cancer history in my family) I wasn’t happy about costing our family another $623.88.

My husband who is a registered nurse suggested perhaps we should call a few other ultrasound centers in neighboring cities and see if   there was one that billed less to insurance, that also took our insurance, which would in turn mean we would have to pay less out of pocket.

With 2 phone calls my husband found an ultrasound center in a larger center about 45 minutes away from us who billed less to insurance than we paid out of pocket for the first ultrasound.

Our total out of pocket bill for the second ultrasound  was $25.03 .

For basically 30 minutes work of calling and one hour and a half of driving we saved $598.85; that is an hourly rate of $399 for our time and effort.

I asked my husband (a registered nurse) if someone would need to work in the medical field in some way to be able to make the calls. He said no, anyone could do it you simply  need to know the exact procedure you are having done and call the medical centers in your area and ask what they charge for that procedure (they will put you through to someone who knows billing information).

The place I went to for the second ultrasound was not in a fancy building like the first was, and it didn’t have an amazing waiting room like the first had. It was a very plain Jane older office, but it had the  machines needed to do the procedure and the trained staff to run them and that is  all  I needed.

How have you saved on your medical bills?

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52 Weeks To A Simplified Home: Project 18

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This is the last week decluttering the upstairs bathroom. I am not sure what area of the home I want to work on next. I know what ever I pick it will be a public area of the home as I want to get those done first. I haven’t been following the list I wrote in January to the letter, but that is okay, because the most important thing is that I am declutter something each and every week.

our bathroom upstairs messI am really sorry that there is a toilet in this picture. There was just no way to get a good snapshot of the area without including it.

The reflection in the mirror is of the wooden drying rack we keep in the upstairs bathroom for drying my workout clothes and jeans. Being a tall person I hang a lot of my pants and other items to dry for fear they might shrink. I do notice it makes my jeans last long too, as my jeans are the only ones in the home that air dry and they last for years, where as my husbands rip within a year. Might be brand, or use, but I still think air drying also plays a factor.

Anyways back to the clutter. I decided to conquer all the rest of the cabinets and the counter in one day.

I first emptied out the entire area. A lot of it was old product we never finished using for one reason or another so it went right in the trash.

rags and coke cansThe oddest things I found were dirty cleaning rags shoved in one corner under the sink and two coke cans. I think I know exactly what child did this, and I am going to have to check their work better when they finish their chores.

We allow our children to have one to two pops a week, but I think whoever shoved these cans in the back of the cupboard has been indulging in more than that, so I am going to have to keep a better eye on that.

upstairs bathroom done.All done! I am happy with how it turned out. I have a lot of room in the tall cabinet which will probably hold something else as I continue to move from room to room.

If you are wondering what that black item is on the counter by the sink. That is my jawbone jambox. I use it to listen to podcasts as I clean and declutter. I love learning while I work.

Do you listen to anything while you do housework?

Top Deals

As a thrifty person sometimes I hear about a deal and I just have to share, that is what this section of my posts is for.  Take advantage of those deals that work for you and your budget, and pass on those that don’t.

1. I noticed this morning on Facebook that Shutterfly is offering a free code for 100 4 by 6 prints (pay shipping only). The code is PRINTS4BFFS and it is good until  May 8th. (here is the Facebook status I found the deal on so you can view all the details yourself)

$0.50 off ONE Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
2. Mr Clean Magic Erasers are one thing I keep on hand for mess that no other cleaner seems to touch. I recommend wearing gloves when you use them. Here is a coupon for them.
$5.00 off Purina Beneful Dry Dog Food
$5.00 off one bag of Purina ONE Dry Dog Food
3. $5 off a bag of dog food is a great high value coupon. Sometimes depending on the brand and size of bags available these $5 coupons can make the smallest brand either free or very close to free. Our dog actually likes the Purina brand (she seems to be getting picky as she gets older) so I am printing these out to see what deals I can get with them.
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Big Blogging Announcement: Sort of

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If you follow me on Facebook, you might already have a good idea of what this blog post is about. I also sent the information out in the weekly letter I write to subscribers.

time quote.

Last Tuesday I sent out the following Facebook question…

OKAY LET ME RUN THIS BY YOU…I am thinking of going from blogging 5 days a week to blogging just 3. Here is what it would look like…..
—->
Monday: Variety is the spice of life (recipe, goals, cleaning etc)
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: 52 Weeks To A Simplified Home
Wednesday: Off
Friday: Money Saving Tips, Money Making Help & Money Management advice.
Saturday & Sunday: Off
What do you think?
My thought is it would give me more time to make sure the posts I do write are in depth and full of useful advice. It would also give me more family time over the summer months and more time in the winter months to make improvements on the blog so that it serves you better. I WANT TO HEAR YOUR OPINION!

A fair number of you chimed in and 100 percent of you said go for it.

So I am. Starting this week and until at least the first week of October I will only be writing here 3 times a week; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

With October comes cooler weather and more time spent at home, which for me means more time to blog, at that time I will review how the 3 posts a week is working. If it seems like you, my readers, are enjoying it I will stick to it, and spend the extra time improving the blog in other ways for you to enjoy.

See you Wednesday for my weekly 52 Weeks To A Simplified Home update.

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