The smart money.
In the world of health care, this is the smart money: the kind that will actually save you money.
It’s not always easy to find the smart medical gadgets you want to use.
The best part about buying a new medical device, especially if you don’t have any medical experience, is that it’s often cheaper than buying the same one a year ago, says Scott O’Donnell, president of marketing and strategy at Rolaids Health Solutions, a marketing and communications agency in Atlanta.
O’Leary says he’s often tempted to buy the same brand-name product that he’s used before and replace it with another brand-named product.
“The problem is, I’m still paying for that,” O’Brien says.
That’s because you don,t necessarily have the money to replace the old one, O’Halloran says.
He recommends using a “retailer savings” tool like the one below.
If you buy the device and don’t upgrade your prescription, you can get a $100 rebate from a health insurer, OBrien says, or you can purchase a device for a reduced price from a retailer.
But even if you decide to go with a retailer, the cost of that device can be significant.
A good example is the “Smart Medical Kit,” a gadget that costs about $120 that comes with an LCD screen, a digital compass, a GPS, a heart monitor, and a pressure-relief device.
If your doctor orders it, you’ll pay for it.
But if you’re using it for yourself, it’ll cost you about $150.
If the doctor orders the device for you, you pay about $100.
If a company like Medtronic offers it for $180, you’re likely to pay $180 for the device, OHalloran notes.
And even if a retailer offers it, it’s usually cheaper than using it yourself.
You may have to pay extra for extra batteries or chargers.
And, if you use it for more than a few days, you may have the devices’ batteries wear out, OLeary says.
If they’re not compatible with the brand you’ve chosen, you won’t be able to get the devices for a few more weeks.
“They’re pretty durable,” OHalloransays.
If it’s a doctor’s order, he recommends that you give the doctor’s office a chance to get them fixed.
“If they’re faulty, it can be very expensive,” he says.
The cost of medical devices varies widely depending on where you live.
For example, if your insurance company covers the cost, the device might be covered by your insurance plan, OLLanor says.
You can also ask your insurer for help in finding the best deal for you.
“In my experience, the cheapest health insurance plan is usually the one that offers the cheapest rebates,” OLLanic says.
But sometimes you may be able and demand the best deals on your own.
If so, consider signing up for a free health insurance policy that gives you discounts on medical device purchases, says Dr. Karen Schmitt, a professor of health management at the University of California, San Diego.
“I do recommend getting insurance with health insurance companies,” Schmitt says.
“You want to keep the costs down and you want your doctor to be compensated fairly for their care.”