Economics of Health Care:
Maximizing Your Health Care Dollar
Knowledge is power and one of the best ways to help curb health care spending is to become an informed consumer.
Take Charge of Your Health
Many health care costs are directly related to personal behavior2, and unhealthy habits can result in chronic conditions, which cost our economy an estimated $1 trillion annually.3 Here are just a few ways you can improve your health while helping to manage your health care costs.
- Eat smart. Eating nutritious foods can help prevent chronic health issues such as obesity
- Exercise. Regular exercise is critical to maintaining optimum health.
- Live tobacco-free. Tobacco use is a leading preventable cause of death.
- Manage chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Know your health history to help you make good health care decisions.
- Schedule regular check-ups with your doctor to prevent health issues.
- Ask questions if you don’t understand something or if you have a concern.
- Research health information from a variety of sources like the American Heart Association , the American Cancer Society , the American Diabetes Society , and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.
Help Prevent Health Care Fraud and Abuse
Health care fraud is a key driver of rising health care costs. About three percent of all health care spending - or $68 billion each year - is lost to health care fraud.5 Here are some things you can do to help prevent health care fraud and abuse.
- Review your health care charges. Look over your Explanation of Benefits from your insurer and receipts from your doctor or pharmacist and make sure the correct dates of service are recorded and that you are billed for the right services or medications.
- Protect your health information. Keep your insurance card and health care records in a safe place at all times.
- Monitor your medications. Count your pills each time that you pick up a prescription.
- Report suspected fraud and abuse as soon as possible. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico members can call our Provider Fraud Hotline at 800-543-0867 to report suspected health care fraud.
The Future of Health Care
After looking at the many factors that influence health care costs, it becomes clear that controlling health care costs will take a lot of effort from all stakeholders—health insurers, health care providers, the government and consumers.
For more detailed information, download Economics of Health Care: Maximizing Your Health Care Dollar .Sources
- America’s Health Insurance Plans. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Factors Fueling Rising Healthcare Costs 2008.
- The Wall Street Journal. How Safeway Is Cutting Health-Care Costs? June 12, 2009
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Building Tomorrow’s Healthcare System: The Pathway to High-Quality, Affordable Care in America. October 2011.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking & Tobacco Use Fact Facts. www.cdc.gov, accessed March 8, 2012.
- National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association. The Problem of Health Care Fraud.