Money

8 Smart Ways to Save Money On Healthcare

Save up to 50 percent on everything from vitamins to doctor visits.

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From medications and supplements to doctor visits — the cost of staying healthy can add up. Here, savvy ways to feel your best without breaking the bank.

Nab up to 50% off on eye care.

“Belong to an organization like AARP or AAA? Membership can get you lower rates at many eyeglass dealers. For example, AAA members get a 30 percent discount on eye exams and accessories, and up to 50 percent off complete frames at LensCrafters. Wear contact lenses? You’ll find great savings online. For the best deals, visit a cost-comparison site, such as Google Shopping or PriceGrabber.com, rather than going directly to the retailer’s site. Some retailers offer extra discounts just so they can be featured at the top of comparison sites’ search results and attract more customers.” —Michelle Katz, author of Healthcare Made Easy

Get low-cost care here:

“Many drugstores offer walk-in clinics that provide low-cost care for illnesses like ear infections as well as free health tests and immunizations. For example, you can be seen by a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant for flu shots, allergies and more at CVS Minute Clinics, which were shown in a recent comparison to be about 40 percent cheaper than Urgent Care!” —Jenn Park, blogger at MomBlogSociety.com

Seek out deals through insurance.

“Insurance companies know that preventative care helps their bottom line, so they offer discounts on vitamins and visits to nutritionists at reduced rates, as well as cover alternative care like acupuncture. It’s worth a look a your provider’s handbook or website to see what savings await you!” —Pete Sulack, M.D., author of Unhealthy Anonymous: Exposing the Greatest Threat to Your Health and Happiness

Pay 80% less for Rx.

“With more people than ever filling their prescriptions online, Amazon launched Pharmacy.Amazon.com. Shipping is free (customers who don’t have Prime get free delivery in five days, or pay $5.99 for two-day delivery), and Prime members have access to the ‘prescription savings benefit,’ which offers a discount of up to 80 percent on generic and up to 40 percent on brand-name medications, plus they get a card to use at pharmacies including CVS, Walmart and Walgreens, in case they can’t wait two days for delivery!” —Andrea Woroch, money-saving expert at AndreaWoroch.com

Score supplements for $1.

“You can find quality supplements at dollar stores like Dollar General whose DG Health is an entire line dedicated to health items. In fact, the discount retailer recently partnered with Centrum to create a Centrum Energy Multivitamin ($5 for 30 tablets, DG Health), almost half the price of a similar vitamin like Centrum Complete Multivitamin for Women that costs $10 for 65 tablets at Walgreens. Paired with a digital coupon, you could score a bottle for just $1!” —Carla Burrows, mom of three, Houston

Ask for a free sample.

“Pharmaceutical representatives will regularly drop off samples of medications, as well as promotional coupons, for everything from prescriptions to contact lens solutions, in doctor’s offices so doctors might offer them to you. But it’s also perfectly fine to ask for some! And these days, more than ever, manufacturers are offering discounts to help customers afford medications. So it pays to call up the pharmaceutical company directly and ask if they might have any discounts or other incentives like copay assistance to help you purchase your prescription for less.” —Michelle Katz

Sidestep fees with telehealth visits.

“With telehealth now so popular, more providers means lower prices. One recent study found the average customer saves up to $120 per appointment with telemedicine, as well as avoids unnecessary ER visits that can cost up to $1,500. Ask your doctor about options or visit a site like LiveHealthOnline.com, which charges $49 if you don’t have insurance — although the site does accept it.” —Michelle Katz

Shop here for over-the-counter bargains.

“Drugstores and big-box stores aren’t the only places to find wellness aids for less. Take a discount store like Aldi. Their wellness brand Welby Lifestyle has everything from blood-pressure monitors to canes, nutrition drinks, pain relievers and more at prices at least 30 percent less than big-box stores or pharmacies. For example, most generic pain relievers are made by the same large manufacturers, so there’s no worry about safety or effectiveness. Plus, Aldi’s take on Extra Strength Tylenol comes in a bottle of 100 caplets, which costs $1.95 — about 1.9 cents a caplet — while at one big pharmacy chain, Tylenol is closer to 9.4 cents a caplet, almost five times as much as Aldi’s.” —Sandy Keaton, mom of five, Chicago

This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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