It’s no secret that healthcare in America can be huge money suck. However, there’s a silver lining: New laws and programs make spending less on some medical expenses much more possible in 2023. Use these five tips to save on hearing aids, doctor visits, prescription medications, insulin, and more.
Save on: hearing aids.
Have mild to moderate hearing loss (for instance, you need to turn the volume all the way up on the TV or you’re often asking people to speak louder) and your health insurance doesn’t cover hearing aids? Thanks to a new rule from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you can now buy hearing aids at major pharmacies and retailers (like CVS, Walmart, and Best Buy) for as little as $195.97 for a set of two. What’s more, you don’t need a medical exam or prescription from an audiologist to get them. The result: You’ll save a lot more while hearing more clearly.
Tip: Double-check the product’s description to ensure you’re purchasing “hearing aids” (which are FDA-approved medical devices to be used for hearing loss) rather than “hearing amplifiers” (which are not FDA-approved medical devices, but are instead used for hobbies, such as bird watching).
Save on: doctor visits.
To help combat inflation, the US government has approved a 3 percent reduction in premiums for Medicare Plan B (which covers medical services not paid for by Plan A, such as outpatient visits and preventive services), which translate into you saving money this year. Need to save more? Apply for your state’s Medicare Savings Program, which helps qualified applicants cover premiums and other out-of-pocket costs. Submit your application at Medicare.gov, or call 1-800-633-4227.
Have a high-deductible healthcare plan and a Health Savings Account (HSA) — an account through your job or bank where you set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for deductibles, copayments, and other medical expenses? For 2023, the maximum HSA contribution limit has been increased by $200 to $3,850 for an individual and by $450 to $7,750 for a family HSA, helping you save even more.
Tip: A new price comparison of vision centers reveals that you’ll save about 35 percent on your eye exam by heading to Costco or Sam’s Club — and you don’t have to be a member to get it!
Save on: prescription generic meds.
Sure, you know that generic drugs can save you a bundle. Well, now there’s a way to save even more: Fill your Rx at a “self-pay” pharmacy. These independently owned drugstores don’t accept health insurance; however, their prices are often cheaper than insurance co-pays. That’s because they sell generics at wholesale prices with only a small markup to cover operating costs. Visit CostPlusDrugs.com, an online self-pay pharmacy option, or search online for “self-pay pharmacy” and your town’s name.
Save on: brand-name meds.
Have to take a brand-name drug because it doesn’t have a generic equivalent, but the cost is prohibitive? If you’ve got health insurance, many drugmakers (like Bristol Myers Squibb and Pfizer) offer savings programs that will cover all or part of your co-pay costs. Don’t have health insurance? Some drugmakers offer programs or rebates that help cover the cost. Or you may also be able to use a discount coupon from GoodRx.com or RxSaver.com to get your meds for less. To find out all the money-savings options for your prescriptions, visit NeedyMeds.org and type the name of your medication into the search box (on the upper-left side of the screen) or call NeedyMeds at 1-800-503-6897.
Save on: insulin.
Have diabetes and use insulin? Good news! Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, insulin co-pays for Medicare Part D beneficiaries are now capped at $35 per month. For those without Medicare, some states (including Colorado, Illinois, and New Mexico) have capped co-pays for insulin at $25 to $100 per month. Don’t have Medicare or live in an insulin-capped state? Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies sell private-label brand insulin for up to 75 percent less than brand-name equivalents!
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.