Health care hacks: Saving money by asking the right questions

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We all want to save money on health care and experts say it's possible to do if we ask the right questions. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) We all want to save money on health care and experts say it's possible to do if we ask the right questions. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
There are often less expensive medications or supplements that will achieve the same results as the more expensive ones. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) There are often less expensive medications or supplements that will achieve the same results as the more expensive ones. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
You can shop around for services like x-rays and MRI's which are always cheaper at facilities not owned by a hospital. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) You can shop around for services like x-rays and MRI's which are always cheaper at facilities not owned by a hospital. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

We all want to save money on health care and experts say it's possible to do if we ask the right questions.

David Berg is the chairman of Redirect Health and says the savings start by asking the same question we would ask if we were buying anything else.

"How much does it cost?" he said.

He said there are people in the doctor's office who know this, or who can find out for you. He says simply asking that question can make the difference between spending just a few dollars on a prescription, and as much as $40.

He also advises asking for a substitute. There are often less expensive medications or supplements that will achieve the same results.

And it's not just medications either. He says you can shop around for services like x-rays and MRIs which are always cheaper at facilities not owned by a hospital.

"MRIs cost anywhere from $250-$400 across the Valley. Every hospital you go to is going to give you a bill for $2,000 to $4,000," he said.

According to Berg, hospital-owned businesses have a responsibility to generate revenue for those hospitals and, therefore, their prices tend to be much higher.

His other suggestions include not showing your insurance card unless you have to.

"When you put insurance first, and you let it dictate health care, you'll never recover from that," Berg said. 

He says insurance should come in if the cash cost of your health care is more than your deductible.

Finally, ask to pay cash. In the long run, it will likely save you a lot of money.

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