Parenting Win of the Week: Health Care Savings
Follow this expert advice to get the most out of your health care options.
As everything falls into place with a little more normalcy — school in the classroom and sports and other activities resuming — kids are returning to their germy, natural state. We haven’t had more than a cold over here, but with cooler temperatures coming, I am prepared for germs. Like everything else, prices have also gone up with healthcare expenses and insurance doesn’t always cover everything.
If you haven’t seen it yet, GoodRx is an app that you must download. Even if you have insurance, you should check every prescription in this app. You simply type in the name of the medication, set your location, and it will give you all of the options for nearby pharmacies. It may be cheaper to fill your script with GoodRx (you simply show the code to your pharmacist) than what your insurance has to offer. It’s also baffling to see that there can be such a huge price difference between Target and Costco, or Walgreens and CVS. It’s an app I love and one that can save hundreds of dollars.
Now, it’s not just prescriptions that we need to have when our kids get sick, so I decided to also chat with Preeti Parikh, MD, Executive Medical Director of GoodRx, to see if she had any other money-saving tips to share when it comes to kids’ healthcare.
Kids seem to be the bulk of most parents' medical expenses. What are tips we can think about to save money when it comes to health care for kids?
I would start with preventative care. As the school year begins, make an appointment with your pediatrician. Yearly check-ups are a great way to stay on top of your child’s health.
One way to save is by purchasing prescriptions for any of your child’s medications in bulk, which is often a 90-day supply. You should also discuss with your doctor if a generic medication would work just as well as brand medication, which can save you money.
What health care supplies are necessary to keep in the house?
Health care supplies to have handy at home include a thermometer, tweezers, band-aids, bandage, ice packs, cloth tape, antibiotic ointment, hydrocortisone ointment, diphenhydramine, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen. This is a good place to start to make sure you are prepared for an emergency.
When it comes to keeping our kids healthy, what are some things to keep in mind?
As the school year begins, kids are excited to be back, but that also means they are indoors and in enclosed spaces near many children and adults. Hygiene is an important thing to keep in mind, especially during this time of transition. Hand hygiene and other hygiene measures such as sneezing into the elbow and social distancing, which if not done well, can lead to more spread of infections. Proper hygiene also includes sleep hygiene. Ensuring your child is getting enough sleep is an important part of maintaining overall health.
You should also have your child’s immunizations up to date, and, if your child plays sports, check in about their heart health and mental health for managing stress. Having a stress tool kit on hand is important for children in all aspects of their lives to keep them healthy since stress can lead to illness. Also, if your child has asthma or allergies it is very important to have an action plan for the school and have all the proper medications and steps in place for a health emergency.
GoodRx is a great tool for saving money on prescriptions. What is the best way for parents to use it?
For managing medication costs, check GoodRx. For example, GoodRx offers discounts for all FDA-approved inhalers; a discount can save up to 80% on your out-of-pocket cost. So, if your child has asthma and needs inhalers, this is a great place to check for discounted prices.
If your child has any recurring prescriptions, you can plan ahead and purchase a 90-day supply, and use apps like GoodRx to make sure you’re buying your supply at the best price.
Additionally, the GoodRx Health platform is a great resource for parents who are in need of advice on common health conditions, want financial health tips and want to learn more about their medications.
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