Paying Your Medical Bills on a Budget
Posted by Sarah at 2:24 pm in Great Deals

Even if you have good health insurance that only requires you to pay copays and deductibles, these expenses may stretch your budget to the breaking point.  In addition, the extra cost of prescriptions and specialist visits may leave you wondering what your insurance is actually paying for.  That said, there are some things you can do to help reduce your medical bills or, at the very least, mitigate their impact on your budget.

Shop Around

Most people think of shopping around when it comes to big-ticket purchases like cars, houses or expensive technology, but very few apply the same consumer-savvy behavior to their medical care.  In fact, doctors and hospitals can vary widely in the rates they charge for certain procedures.  If you’re planning a major surgery or have a long-term condition that requires frequent medical attention, ask the different hospitals covered by your insurance to quote you their rates.  You could save several thousands of dollars just by switching to the hospital down the street.

Keep Track of Time

Few people realize that a doctor’s visit is measured in the number of minutes spent with the patient, as well as the level of complexity associated with each visit.  In some cases, a doctor or nurse may not spend enough time with you in order to qualify for a specific type of visit as defined by your insurance provider.  Conversely, as you examine your medical bills, you may find that there was no justification for charging your insurance carrier a specific price.

Therefore, it’s vitally important to obtain copies of the billing records pertaining to each medical visit.  Study them carefully for accuracy, as well as in terms of justifying charging a specific fee.  If you feel that something is overstated or exaggerated, notify your doctor that you don’t agree with the billed amount.  In some cases, they’ll request an adjustment on the bill sent in.  If you don’t see these adjustments on your bills, you may want to alert your insurance carrier’s fraud unit to any instances of overcharging.

Audit All Bills

Every time you attend an appointment with a medical professional, you have a right to obtain a list of all services performed, as well as the amount charged for each type of care you received.  If you have health insurance, this information is usually provided by the insurance carrier.  In particular, if you or a family member has been admitted to the hospital, it’s important to review the entire bill – you may find that you’ve been accidentally charged for services you never received.  While it may take some research and work to understand these bills, you may find thousands of dollars in discrepancies.

Regardless of whether or not you have health insurance, audit all your medical bills carefully – you may find that you were billed for services that weren’t actually rendered.  In other cases, you may find that a particular billing code doesn’t accurately match the care you received.  While these bills may be difficult to decipher, if you suspect something is wrong, you should speak to your doctor about it.  If you don’t get anywhere using this route, it may be time to speak to your insurance carrier or consumer protection agencies regarding medical billing fraud.

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Your Budget Protein Diet
Posted by Sarah at 2:24 pm in Great Deals

As you probably already know, your body can’t function without proteins.  At the same time, if you don’t consume the proper types of protein, you may still suffer from a wide range of health problems.  Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you get all of the proteins that you need, in the proper quantity.  Unfortunately, most of us think of meat when we pick our proteins – a choice that can have a negative impact on our waistlines and our wallets.

Vegetarian Diets

While many people advocate a vegetarian diet, it’s not for everyone.  Not everyone processes plant proteins as efficiently as animal proteins, while some vegetarians suffer from edema caused by animal protein starvation.  At the same time, others may suffer from depression, as well as many other anxiety issues and psychological problems.  Unfortunately, every one of these ailments may be directly liked to the biochemistry of animal proteins and proper nutrition.

That said, many people have achieved an enormous amount of benefit from these diets. Adopting a primarily vegetarian diet may cause your allergies to go away and your high blood pressure to move into a normal range.  In some cases, you may find that adapting yourself slowly to a vegetarian diet makes a difference by helping your body to adapt gradually to the lack of animal proteins.  This will help prevent cravings, as well as other health-related issues.

Plant Protein Substitutes

Even though strictly vegetarian diets may have certain risk factors, they can still be helpful for anyone that wants to reduce meat consumption.  By studying these diets, you’ll learn a great deal about plant proteins, and how they compare to animal ones.  In many cases, you may even be able to cut your meat consumption by 70 – 80%, which can save you a lot of money at the grocery store.  That said, you’ll need to make sure that you follow food suggestions very carefully to ensure that you receive enough protein from plant sources.

While you may have to buy a number of different plant-based foods to substitute for meat, most of them are fairly cheap.  For example, kidney beans, lentils, and chickpeas are great sources of protein that can be purchased cheaply in dry weight bags.  If you place these items in a crock pot or simply set them to boil on a weekend, you’ll be able to create delicious, filling soups that will last all week long.

Protein Drinks

Chances are, if you visit the health section of a department store, you’ll see all kinds of protein drinks and snacks.  In some cases, these formulations are for body builders or others who participate in athletic events.  Unfortunately, these supplements aren’t very effective as meat substitutes.  The proteins and amino acids found in these products are typically only dedicated to a specific set of bodily systems, while you need a more complete set of proteins to address every area of your health.

If you want to save money on food, substituting plant-based proteins for animal ones can help you achieve this goal.  Aside from eating foods that may be healthier for you, it will also give you a chance to take advantage of a number of sales.  For example, when your supermarket puts dried beans on sale, you can stock up, knowing that they won’t go bad any time soon.  Combined with the already lower prices of plant-based protein sources, you’ll wind up saving a bundle off your grocery store bill.

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Tips To Save Money. Learn To Be Frugal