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How To Take Advantage of Less Expensive Health Care

By: Jason Markum

Unless you’ve been living on Mars, you know that the cost of healthcare in America has skyrocketed through the roof in recent years. Insurance premiums have gone up so much, that many people have had to cancel their policies. If you work for a company that offers free health insurance to its employees, you may not have started to feel the bite just yet. But if you own your own company, or work as an independent contractor, or some other vocation where you have to provide your own health insurance, then you know just how bad it’s getting.

This is not a political article. I’m not trying to make a case for or against the current health-care legislation winding its way through Congress. The truth of the matter is that I don’t know much about it; politics is not my thing.

What I do know about is finding less expensive health care opportunities that you may not have ever heard about. Have you been to the hospital lately? Have you gotten the bill? Did you fall out of your chair when you read it? No, it’s no mistake, hospital bills are astronomical, which means that it’s time to start finding alternatives to the emergency rooms and hospitals.

Today in America there are almost 3000 of what we call “freestanding emergicenters”. These places offer services and a wide range of health care for a crisis. Sprains, lacerations, fractures, and even respiratory illnesses can be handled inexpensively in any number of these centers. They don’t often have the equipment to handle major emergencies like a heart attack, but if the issue is a minor one- they may be your best bet. Often prices are up to a third less than what you’d see in a hospital.

In addition there are over 500 specialized surgical centers around the country. These centers specialize in minor elective surgery. With the advancement of technology, especially less invasive technology, these smaller specialized centers can handle minor operations much quicker and cheaper than hospitals. And with less overhead, often massively less overhead, the prices are much much cheaper than a hospital.

These procedures range from laser eye surgery, to hernia repair, to most plastic surgeries and more. What they handle relies purely on their specific expertise. There is no one-size-fits-all operation, each center will specialize in a certain procedure. So you need to shop around to find exactly what you’re looking for.

If you’re worried about the quality of care, you shouldn’t be. Many of these centers are staffed by the very same doctors that work in the local hospitals. Often times they are owned by those doctors. This allows doctors to specialize in the kind of care that they prefer to give, and doesn’t hem them in and force them to do procedures that the hospital wants done.

For instance you know you get more time from your doctor in these centers because they’re not rushing off to do an emergency double bypass in the room next door as they might be if you were in a hospital.

As time goes on and technology gets better these centers will only grow and become more useful. I suggest that you create a list of all the centers in your area now so if an emergency arises you won’t have to spend valuable time hunting each specific one.

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