Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Two Simple Ways to Keep Your Healthcare Costs Low

If you're on a tight budget and would like to minimise the amount you spend on healthcare, here are two tips which may help you to do this.

Live a healthy, active lifestyle

One of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of having to pay costly medical bills in the future is to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

A huge number of the most common health conditions that affect people today are directly correlated with unhealthy lifestyle choices. Studies have shown that smoking, for example, can drastically increase a person's risk of developing lung cancer and emphysema. Similarly, excess alcohol consumption can increase a person's chances of getting liver, larynx, pharynx and oesophageal cancer and can, in extreme cases, cause cirrhosis of the liver.

Additionally, obesity has been shown to put a person at risk of getting heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, gout and gallstones.

Many of these conditions require medication, surgery and (in the case of certain cancers) chemotherapy and radiation, all of which could put a big strain on your finances.

As such, you can significantly reduce your chances of incurring major medical expenses in the future by making healthy choices now. If you currently smoke, speak to your GP about the best way to go about quitting. Additionally, try to cut back on the amount of alcohol you consume per week (or if possible, eliminate it entirely).

If you are overweight, consider joining a local gym, or a running or cycling club, and implementing a calorie-controlled diet to get into the healthy weight range.

Opt for a bulk-billing doctor instead of a private one

Many people mistakenly believe that by opting to pay for private healthcare instead of using the services of bulk billing doctors, they will receive a higher quality of medical care.

Whilst there are certain advantages associated with the former (you can, for example, sometimes receive full or partial refunds for alternative types of health treatments, such as physiotherapy and sports massages), the quality of the care delivered by private doctors is no better than that offered by bulk billing GPs.

Bulk billing doctors undergo the same rigorous educational process and training as private doctors and, as such, will provide you with the same high-quality medical advice and treatments.

As such, if money is tight and you have no need to undergo the above-mentioned alternative treatments, it is sensible to register with a bulk billing GP.