Ways to save on healthcare costs
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Always provide current details of a spousal plan on your claim form so costs
can be coordinated between
each benefit plan.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.