One contributing factor is because of Utah’s young, healthy population, but another is the state’s highly effective healthcare providers. For example, initiatives at Intermountain Healthcare have lessened the cost of care for patients by two billion dollars since 2011, all while maintaining high-quality care. You can learn more about these initiatives here.
Everyone can do things to help lower their own healthcare costs. Being healthy can reduce doctor and hospital visits, and choosing the right type of care when you are sick helps too. Here are four ways to keep healthy, and from that, and in turn lower your medical expenses.
Get Healthy and Stay Active
Utah’s outdoor playground gives many the opportunity for an active lifestyle. In general, Utah residents also lead healthier lifestyles. America’s Health Rankings for 2016 listed Utah first in non-smokers, fifth in being physically active, and sixth in lower obesity rates.
Being active and having healthier habits has a strong connection to staying out of the hospital and doctor offices. This can lower your chance for most cancers, heart disease, and diabetes, just to name a few. Evaluate your habits and see if there is room for improvement with some helpful information at Intermountain Healthcare’s LiVe Well website.
Get Screened and Vaccinated
There are a host of medical screenings that can provide you with a snapshot of how healthy you are. Look at your gender and age guidelines for what regular exams are needed. Schedule regular dental visits and annual physicals. Typically, most of the screenings are free preventative services covered by your health insurance. It may save your life.
If there is a problem detected in these screenings, you could lower your health costs by catching a health problem early and having easier or fewer treatments.
It’s also important to make sure your family has up-to-date vaccinations and an annual flu shot.
Take Advantage of Pharmacy Changes
How and where you get your medications have changed in the last few years, including quantity and delivery. You can save on your monthly copay by purchasing a 90-day supply of medication instead of a 30-day supply.
Intermountain Healthcare offers the Home Delivery Pharmacy which ships 90-day medication supply right to your home at no additional cost for shipping and handling. Another cost-saving tip is to utilize any of the 26 Intermountain Community Pharmacies. Intermountain Community Pharmacies price-match and they use generic prescription options when possible.
Use Different Venues to Fit Your Needs
The doctor’s office has rapidly evolved over the past decade and is a great first option for your medical needs. When you regular doctor isn’t available, InstaCares are also an effective option for urgent medical conditions. Emergency rooms are great for emergencies, but more expensive than most other options.
Telemedicine is the next game-changer in healthcare. Intermountain launched Connect Care in early 2016. The patient uses their computer, tablet, or smartphone to hold a video call with a medical professional. The health provider can diagnose certain ailments, send prescriptions to a pharmacy, or schedule an in-person visit if needed. The cost is a flat $49 for the entire visit—and some insurances will even cover the fee. Connect Care can be accessed at www.IntermountainConnectCare.org or by downloading the app for Apple or Android.