Financial security starts by avoiding these five common medical pitfalls.
#1: BY SHOPPING IN ONE PLACE
It goes without saying that pharmaceutical prices vary from location to location. You may be overpaying for a particular medicine bought at the same place. So, carefully compare the prices from the different providers to get the best price. According to Ministry of Health guidelines, every patient must get an itemized medication bill. Use this bill as a guide while shopping.
Do not hesitant to ask your physician for an affordable and efficient alternative, especially if you are taking medications on a long-term basis.
#2: BY NOT SHOWING FOR AN APPOINTMENT
Some of the doctor’s clinics or hospitals charge patients for not showing up. Said fees can be at least S$20. Remember, you are paying for their valuable time. If you cannot make it for an appointment, contact the office as soon as possible. Rescheduling can prevent your account from being overcharged.
#3: BY SKIPPING THE GENERICS
New prescription drugs are expensive because they are Generic medicines are certainly cheaper and as efficacious as the patented medicines! Why is that so? New generic medicines are examined by the Health Sciences Authority to ensure that they have the same safety and quality standards as the patented ones. They must not only be chemically equivalent but also biologically equivalent in its effects within the patient’s body.
Interestingly, Singapore General Hospital once saved about S$900,000 after switching to the generic options of Gabapentin (for nerve pain), Alendronate (for osteoporosis), and Clindamycin (an antibiotic).
#4: BY TRASHING IMPORTANT TESTS RESULTS
There are many tests that the physician or lab technician can request. These tests include fMRI, CT scan, and Complete Blood Count test. It is important to keep a copy for yourself. If another doctor wants to run the same test, you can provide the recent copy of the test. Skipping another round of the expensive tests can save you a lot of money.
#5: BY PAYING YOUR BILLS LATE
Late fees and interest charges add up! Over time, your bill can inflate like a balloon due to penalties. It is crucial to stay on top of your payments.
There are to actions that you can partake in. First, you may compare notes with the secretary to ensure that your bills are on track. Lastly, you can ask for a payment plan that works best for you. It is better to be upfront about your situation than to ignore it.