If you are one of the 46 million Americans who don’t have health insurance, or if you have health insurance but are paralyzed by the rising cost of your care, does it mean foregoing medical treatment? Alarmingly, a December 2012 Gallup poll said that one-third of Americans (and 55 percent of those with no health insurance) have put off medical care for themselves or for their families, because of the cost.
“If you need to see a doctor, and you don’t have insurance, you can get in to the doctor’s office, if you do your research ahead of time,” says Kristen Stoll, a consumer insurance expert at ehealthinsurance.com
. “You should try to avoid the hospital or emergency room, which are the highest-cost options, and which are really designed for emergencies. If you have a sore throat, you don’t need emergency room care.”
So if you need a doctor—and it’s not an emergency—here’s what to do, plus some other ways to lower your health care costs >>