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'Why don't governments step in?': YouTube star MrBeast pays to 'cure' 1,000 blind people — here are 5 ways to cut your health care costs if a celebrity hasn't helped you yet

MoneyWise logo: MainLogo MoneyWise 5/1/2023 Chris Clark
5 tips on cutting down health care expenses © MrBeast/YouTube 5 tips on cutting down health care expenses

If you’re sick and don't have a rich aunt or uncle who can help, you could try your luck calling on a wealthy YouTube star like Jimmy Donaldson, aka MrBeast.

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When he posted a video in which he paid for 1,000 cataract surgeries, people all around him saw goodwill. Donaldson had used the income derived from his 136 million subscribers to change lives.

"Why don’t governments step in and help? Even if you’re thinking purely from a financial standpoint it’s hard to see how they don’t ROI on taxes from people being able to work again," he pointed out in a tweet.

And perhaps Donaldson left those he didn’t support a bit envious.

That may be especially true for the large number of sick or recovering patients swimming in medical debt or facing necessary — and financially devastating — medical procedures. More than 100 million American adults — about four in 10 — were saddled with debt caused by medical or dental bills, according to a 2022 Kaiser Family Foundation study.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently published research that showed more than 15% of U.S. adults are carrying past-due medical debt and nearly 73% of those people owe all or some of that debt to hospitals.

All that being said, there are simpler ways to keep health care costs in check without having to track down a rich relative or benevolent Beast.

Preventative care beats any cure

Regular check-ups, vaccinations and screenings can detect health issues early and reduce the likelihood of expensive care down the road. Many insurance plans offer free or low-cost preventative care services. Most states have your back on this, requiring private insurers to reimburse for telemedicine.

Where your insurance won’t step in, flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts can cover alternative procedures — the kind many folks swear by — like acupuncture or herbal medicine. Just be sure to get a Letter of Medical Necessity from a doctor first.

Make the call on telehealth

Telehealth services allow patients to consult with health care providers remotely. They became increasingly popular during the COVID-19.pandemic when visiting a doctor’s office or clinic wasn’t possible.

But toda,y they remain a convenient and cost-effective option, particularly for non-emergency care.

Many insurance plans now cover telehealth, so consider this option for routine check-ups, consultations and even some urgent care needs.

Read more: Millions of Americans are in massive debt in the face of rising rates. Use Credible to help you save on interest payments*

Make prescription shopping your Rx

Comparing the prices of prescription medication at different pharmacies can produce significant savings over time.

Some pharmaceutical companies will offer introductory pricing on medications, while discount programs and price matching can also help.

Don’t hesitate to speak up when visiting your pharmacy to make sure you land the lowest price, and look into generic drugs as an effective, cost-saving measure.

Do the due: Negotiate medical bills

While big medical bills can be intimidating, providers and collectors will often extend flexibility if you ask for it. Step up to bargain or negotiate with insurers or care providers by asking about payment plans or financial assistance programs.

Healthy habits, building bonds

Research has shown that exercise makes a difference in overall health, especially walking. A 2021 study connecting exercise routines to Medicare claims found that starting regular exercise before or during middle age can save between $824 to $1,874 annually on health-care costs after retirement.

Strength training, a balanced diet, meditation and sleep hygiene also have positive effects. Avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption will bolster overall health.

But the one factor just coming into its own centers on the strength of human bonds. The Harvard Study of Adult Development, the longest running study of its kind at 85 years, has established a strong correlation between deep relationships and well-being.

So if you’re not sure where to start, grab a close friend for a long walk and a healthy meal afterward. Make a habit of it and you may just be on your way to boisterous health along with (we’re sure MrBeast would agree) one beauty of a life.

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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.



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