(WASHINGTON) — If you’ve made a new year’s resolution to be healthier in 2013, congratulations — and beware. Studies show most people backslide on their resolutions by February. Here are 10 health care websites that can help you score medical services for less, so you — and your bank account — will be healthier.
1. ChangeHealthCare.com: Deduct Health Care Costs
W-2s come out this month and many people overlook the tax deduction you can get if your medical and dental bills add up to more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. This site helps you track and tabulate your medical expenses. If they’re high enough, it generates a report you can submit right to the IRS.
2. GoodRx.com: Comparison-Shop for Meds
If you have prescription drug coverage, your meds can still be expensive — especially if they’re not on your insurance company’s “formulary” or list of approved meds. This free site helps you compare prices for the meds you need at pharmacies near you.
3. TogetherRXAccess: Discounted Prescriptions
Several big pharmaceutical companies have teamed up to provide discounts on common prescriptions to people who have no drug coverage and are below a certain income threshold. The Together RX Access card snags you discounts of 15 to 40-percent off close to 300 brand name meds plus a pile of generics.
4. Pparx.org: Free Prescriptions
What’s the only thing better than discount prescriptions? Free prescriptions. Pharmaceutical companies will give away their medications to people who meet certain income conditions. Pharma, the trade organization for the pharmaceutical industry, runs a clearinghouse service for its members. This website will link you with the maker of your drug.
5. BillAdvocates.com: Fight High Hospital Bills
Experts estimate that 80 percent of hospital bills contain errors — usually in the hospital’s favor. A medical billing advocate is someone who pores over your bills looking for mistakes and overcharges. You typically pay them a percentage of the savings they find you. Many patients have saved thousands and this site helps you find an advocate.
6. Hill-Burton Hospitals: Free Hospital Care
If you can’t afford to go to the hospital at all, you need to know about the Hill-Burton program, in which the Federal government provides money for certain hospitals to give free or low cost care. This website links you to hospitals near you that have free Hill-Burton coverage.
7. HealthCareBluebook.com: Price Procedures
Need a medical procedure? How do you know if your provider’s cost is fair? This site shows you the average price for a certain operation or test in your geographic area. Use it to choose a provider or negotiate a better deal.
8. DentalPlans.com: Find a Discount Dentist
People bemoan the millions of Americans who have no health insurance, but by some estimates, nearly three times as many have no dental insurance. This site identifies dentists near you who participate in discount plans, a possible alternative. Just make sure you don’t have to pay a bundle up front to get the discount. As always, shop around for this or any service.
9. Simplee.com: Analyze Health Care Costs
This site is the equivalent of personal finance budgeting software for your health care spending. You input your info and Simplee presents it in a dashboard format so that it’s easy to understand and take action.
Finally, starting in 2014 most Americans will be eligible for some form of health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. One of the biggest problems? Most people don’t realize that. This site helps you figure out what federal help may be available later and where to turn in the meantime.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio