Winter is right around the corner. Unfortunately, this is the time of year when many people start to come down with colds, coughs, and the flu. Your medical expenses can increase this time of year between these illnesses and injuries that can occur because of the bad weather. If you want to reduce your medical expenses this winter, keep these five tips in mind.
Get Your Flu Shot
If you want to avoid the flu, the best way to do so is by getting your flu shot. Since the flu can wreak havoc on your health, preventing it is a great way to avoid having to spend money on doctor appointments and costly medication. Depending on your insurance, flu shots are either free or very cheap. Talk to your doctor or your local pharmacy about how to get yours.
Avoid Frequent Drinking
With all the holidays that occur in the winter, you’ll have many opportunities to drink alcohol. While you don’t need to cut drinking altogether, you can reduce your medical costs by drinking in moderation. Drinking alcohol is very common, but drinking too much of it can lead to health problems over time. These problems can result in a sharp increase in medical costs. In 2018, 32.52% of people ages 18 to 29 stated they drank hard alcohol in the past three months. Too much liquor can lead to health problems and poor judgment in serious situations. By staying sober and clear-headed, you can prevent many of the injuries that can lead to emergency room visits during the holidays.
Be Smart When Driving
You should never drink and drive. At best you’ve made a foolish decision. At worst, you or someone else dies. According to Breathe Easy Insurance, DUIs decreased sharply in the first half of 2020, going from 7,220 to 4,223. This 42% cut in drunk driving incidents makes the roads much safer and should be continued.
However, drunk driving isn’t the only danger when driving in the winter. If the weather is bad, try to avoid driving as much as possible. Snowy conditions make it difficult to drive, increasing the risk of accidents. Stay off the road or drive carefully in order to avoid needing medical care.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
You get sick through the transfer of germs. If someone else is sick and their germs get into your body, that will likely get you sick. One of the most common ways that germs can get into your body is through your hands. Since your hands touch multiple surfaces throughout the day, they are a perfect vehicle for germs. Keep them out of your body by washing your hands frequently. Use hot water and soap in order to scrub the surfaces of your hands, making sure to get under your fingernails as well. If you wash your hands regularly, it will kill the germs before they can get into your body.
Ask Your Doctor About Cheaper Alternatives
Medical costs can often be negotiated. One way to do this is to get cheaper alternatives to the treatment your doctor wants you to get. While some things can’t be changed, others can easily be substituted for something cheaper. Ask about generic drugs or alternative treatments. Physical therapy, for instance, can lower your medical costs by 72%. The benefits of this treatment make other treatments unnecessary. So by approving a course of physical therapy, your doctor can save you money. Be upfront with them about your financial situation and ask them to work with you. You might be surprised at what is available.
With the arrival of winter comes the potential for increased medical costs. Take these tips and apply them to your life in order to reduce these costs and save some money.