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How to save on health care

Knowing how your health plan works and where to go when you need care are two of the best ways to save money on your health care expenses. Sometimes, the choices you make can save you several hundred dollars!

Here are three scenarios when you can save money by choosing the right provider for your needs.

When you need health care fast

Your primary care physician (PCP) should be your first choice, but there are several other options when your PCP is not available. Telemedicine, retail clinics, and urgent care centers all offer care for illnesses and injuries that are not life-threatening — plus, they can save you time and money as long as they are in your health plan’s network. If you have a true emergency, you should always go straight to the nearest emergency room.

When you need blood work or other laboratory services

If you have an HMO, POS, or Direct POS plan, you must visit a lab provider that your PCP chooses, also known as a designated site, for blood work, urine tests, and other types of laboratory services. You will also need a referral or prescription from your PCP.

If you have a PPO or an EPO (Closed Panel PPO), you will save the most money on lab work by visiting a freestanding laboratory provider in your health plan’s network rather than a hospital-based lab. If you have health care coverage through Independence, simply visit a LabCorp provider, and you will pay the lowest out-of-pocket costs. Depending on the plan and service, your costs may be covered 100 percent.

Find a LabCorp provider

When you need outpatient surgery

If you need to have outpatient surgery (such as ACL repair, bunion removal, hernia repair, cataract removal, or a colonoscopy), you may be able to save money by using a freestanding ambulatory surgery center.

What is a freestanding ambulatory surgery center?

An ambulatory surgery center (ASC) is a health care facility that focuses on providing same-day surgical care, also known as outpatient surgery. ASCs are an alternative to a hospital outpatient surgical center, where services may be significantly more costly and less convenient. Plus, ASCs have a strong record of quality care and positive patient outcomes.

As with any important health care matter, you should work with your doctor to determine the best setting for health care.

Learn how you can save by using an ambulatory surgery center