How to save money on medical supplies
While buying a box of Band-Aids or a home first aid kit will not likely break the bank, having to pay full price for larger home medical supplies, such as wheelchairs or custom ramps, potentially could. There are avenues to take, however, that can save drastic amounts of money.
Buying Medical Supplies Online
Buying online is much cheaper than buying from a pharmacy or medical supplies store. Online retailers buy in bulk and have much higher volumes of sales, allowing them to offer much lower prices to you, the consumer. Buying in bulk from online stores often works to your benefit, as well: higher purchase totals usually qualify you for free shipping, and the unit price drops when you order larger quantities.
Go Through Your Doctor
Another thing to keep in mind is that many sites and stores offer discount medical supplies and equipment to medical professionals. If you can arrange with your doctor to have your order shipped through their office, the cost may be reduced. If you do not have a regular doctor but know a medical practitioner, you may be able to make an arrangement with them; some sites allow discounts on personal shipments to doctors, nurses or paramedics upon proof of proper certification.
Buy Used Medical Supplies
Buying used supplies and equipment will drastically lower the cost of what you need. Many sites sell their used equipment for between 40 and 50 percent cheaper than the manufacturer's suggested retail price. If you need a common appliance such as a walker or scooter, pay close attention to classified ads and yard sales. You may be lucky enough to find someone who is looking to make room in their home and will sell you the item at a great price.
Another way to save money on medical supplies is to see if your life insurance, health insurance plan or medical coverage will cover some or all of the cost of your supplies. If you are older than 65 or have a disability, you qualify for Medicare, a government program that will assist with medical expenses. Contact your local office and review your individual situation with them to see what kind of assistance Medicare will offer. Typically, after you pay your premium, you are required to pay the first $130 of your expenses out of pocket and 20 percent of costs after that.
Many insurance companies subsidize the cost of medical supplies, as well. Much like Medicare (and depending on your specific policy), you pay a deductible and then the insurance company covers the rest of the cost. There are yearly and lifetime limits for monetary coverage, though, so be careful when claiming through insurance.
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