Whether you’re a mom looking out for the family or a senior heading into retirement, the cost of health care is a primary concern. Even with a job that provides health benefits there can always be “gaps” in coverage. If that job ends, then you’re essentially on your own to find coverage. This means you have to become extremely proactive with regard to your health care costs. These are some smart approaches for keeping those costs manageable:

Stay Informed

The health insurance market always seems to be in flux. Many carriers can change policies with a “fine print” notice that is hard to understand. That is why it is vital for you to stay informed about your health insurance carrier’s policies. If you have a change in your medical condition, then call to speak to someone to get the answers about coverage. It might also help to speak with an insurance broker who knows a lot about several policy options. There is nothing wrong with shopping around for better insurance.

Shop for Prescriptions

The costs for prescriptions always seem to be going up as opposed to going down. As with anything else you need to purchase, there might be options for lower prescriptions costs. Just because it is convenient to use your neighborhood pharmacy doesn’t mean you are getting the best prices. You should always look online for better deals on your medications. This might mean forwarding the prescription and waiting for delivery. You just have to factor that into your need for the meds.

Utilize WEllness Programs

The hope of any health insurance carrier is that you will never get sick. That will keep their costs down. To achieve that goal, they offer wellness programs that are intended for the policy holders to get checkups for free or a low copay. There are other plans that even go so far as to offer discounts at gyms. These are benefits you should take full advantage of. Regular health screenings can identify any issues early on, which can help with a treatment plan.

Don’t Put Off Treatment

Speaking of a treatment plan, whatever ailment crops up should be treated immediately. If you have financial concerns, then talk to your doctor about options. You might find that they are willing to work out payments for procedures if it means keeping you healthy.

Save for Expenses

If you have a great health insurance plan, then you probably have a deductible. It will help to save money for the deductible so it won’t become a burden in case you have to use it. Setting up a separate savings account for medical expenses can provide peace of mind when those expenses are needed.