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Ways To Save On Healthcare From The AARP Bulletin

BOSTON (CBS) - Here are some ways to save on healthcare.

#57 Medical Ally:  If medical bills are driving you crazy, consider hiring a medical billing advocate. For a percentage-based fee, a medical billing specialist will review your health care bills and challenge questionable charges.

Dee: When my son was sick I took on the job of managing the health care bills. The bills are complicated and coding is difficult to understand.

It was not easy and I had to learn on the job. Having someone who knows the ropes could save you precious time and energy when you or a loved one is ill.

The number 1 cause of personal bankruptcies is medical expenses because people either had no insurance or very high deductible health care plans.

Hopefully the The Affordable Care Act, making insurance easier for people to get and not allowing insurance companies to deny coverage for a pre-existing condition will help.

#58 Free Meds:  Ask your doctor about prescription samples.

Dee: Doctors are given lots of samples. Ask. Especially if your doctor wants you to try a new medication.

#62 Skip The ER:  You don't need the emergency room if you have non-life-threatening medical issues, such as fevers, cuts, minor burns or headaches. A more affordable alternative is a walk-in urgent care center.

Dee: This is a really good idea! An ER visit can cost hundreds of dollars even if you have insurance and while sitting there on a Saturday afternoon expect a very long wait. If you have been coughing for 2 weeks don't go to the ER because your wife cannot stand your cough anymore.

Head to some place like the walk-in clinics at the major drug store chains. CVS Minute clinics do much more than vaccinations. Rite-Aid has a clinic as well. Almost all of these clinics are open 7 days a week.

And the cost for walk-in care is very reasonable.

Here's the full list of 99 Great Ways to Save from the AARP Bulletin

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