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August 2009 Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource Highlights Health Care Dollars, Senses of Taste and Smell, and Emotional Eating
Date:8/13/2009

lear if a medical appointment is needed.

On insurance:

  • Pay premiums annually. Many policies offer discounts when premiums are paid on time and in full.
  • Read the benefits information to make sure the insurer is paying for everything that's covered. If it appears that a claim has been denied in error, appeal the decision.
  • Look for special services and extras, such as discounts on gym memberships, weight-loss programs and medical equipment rental.

On medications:

  • Choose generic. They have the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs and cost less.
  • Shop around. Prices vary from one pharmacy to another.
  • Split pills if possible. The co-pay may be the same for a higher-dose prescription as for a lower dose. Check with the prescribing physician about this option.

On hospital care:

  • Avoid the emergency department unless it's absolutely necessary. Instead, consider a nurse line or urgent care. For those without insurance, try to find a clinic with sliding-scale fees.
  • Use outpatient services when possible. Tests and procedures that can be done without an overnight hospital stay cost less.

On staying well:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight helps prevent and control serious and costly health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.
  • Give up expensive and unhealthy habits. Smoking is the single greatest cause of preventable death and illness in the United States. Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
  • Make the basics for good health a priority. Floss and brush teeth daily. Use seat belts and bike helmets. Wear sunscreen. Wash hands frequently with soap and water.

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SOURCE Mayo Clinic
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