Ways to save on healthcare costs

Wednesday, October 09, 2013
3   based on 146 votes
Get More from Your Benefits, Lowering your out-of-pocket costs

10 ways you can save money on health care expenses

Health care costs are continuing to rise while governments, employers, insurers and you, the plan member, face real challenges in continuing to fund escalating costs. Here are 10 things that we can all do as health care consumers to help ensure the sustainability of our benefit plans regardless if they are funded publicly or privately.

  1. Always ask if generic alternatives are available to brand name drugs. If you are currently taking or will be prescribed a brand-name medication, inquire with your doctor about a generic alternative.
  2. Shop around for the lowest mark-up and dispensing fee on prescription drugs. This saves your plan money and lowers the amount you pay if your plan doesn't cover 100%of the costs.
  3. Register for Fair PharmaCare. The government drug plan will pay 100% of your drug expenses once you reach your family maximum. You can access public funding for drugs by registering for PharmaCare online or by phone at 604-683-7151 (toll-free 1-800-663-7100) Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information see How BC Fair PharmaCare Works.
  4. Apply for funding through PharmaCare's Special Authority Program. While many drugs are eligible for funding from PharmaCare, there are some drugs that require "Special Authority" from PharmaCare. Apply for funding through PharmaCare's Special Authority Program when prompted by your pharmacist or by a note on your claims statement. For more information see How BC Fair PharmaCare Works.
  5. Always provide current details of a spousal plan on your claim form so costs can be coordinated between each benefit plan.
  6. Always purchase health coverage when travelling out of country. Most health plans have lifetime limits on certain benefits. Our travel plans pay out-of-country claims first and protect your health plan's lifetime limit.
  7. Always submit health and dental claims by the plan deadline. Visit CARESnet or refer to your plan booklet to find out the specific claiming deadline for your plan.
  8. Don't pay more than what is reasonable and ensure your paramedical services provider is registered. All benefit providers apply a reasonable and customary limit for services provided by massage therapists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, etc. after assessing the reasonable cost for these services in a geographic region. Shop around to ensure you don't have to pay extra. Also, because we only pay for claims with a registered paramedical provider, ensure any practitioner you visit is registered with the college or association of their respective profession in BC.
  9. Ask your dental provider if he/she charges in accordance with the Pacific Blue Cross Dental Fee Schedule. Like the reasonable and customary limits above, rates for dental services are based on an assessment of reasonable costs for these services. If your dentist charges more than this for a service, you will be out-of-pocket for the extra.
  10. Take advantage of the savings offered through your Blue Cross membership. The Blue Advantage program provides savings at point of sale on the total cost of products and services from participating providers across Canada, regardless if the item is covered under your benefit plan.

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