Here's How To Shop For Medical Supplies If You Want To Save Money

If you don't have a plan and a process, you could be busting your budget.

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Medical supplies costs, like your prescription medications, can add up quickly. Here are some strategies you can use to make sure you're doing everything you can to keep your costs down, and maximizing your savings.

Shop Online

The power of the internet is convenience. In minutes you can quickly scan prices for your medical supplies at several different stores and suppliers. In some cases, you'll find the item you're looking for online, but it will be tagged with a description that reads something like, "Available in stores only."

That's fine. You've still done your homework by investigating the price.

Doing your research online gives you the chance to create a long list of comparison prices from the convenience and comfort of your own home. And yes, even the traditional brick-and-mortar stores that have been around long before the internet have websites now where you can shop online. CVS, Walgreens, and other chains have online stores, and local "mom-and-pop" medical suppliers do too. Don't think you need to take a ride to find a price or pick up an item yourself. In most cases, ordering online means the store can ship it to your doorstep.

Look For Subscription Ordering

Another advantage available now at many online retailers is the option to set a subscription order. This is basically an automatic refill process, where the company automatically ships you your next installment of product at the frequency you need. They simply bill your credit card, which they'll require you to have in their files.

There are a few benefits to you if you use this process.

  1. The automatic refill takes away the risk of you forgetting to place your next order, and thus potentially having to get by a few days or a week without your needed item.
  2. The other benefit is that most stores that offer this subscription process give you a discount on your item in exchange for setting yourself up to order from them every month. This is getting pretty common, so make sure you shop around for not only the subscription process, but also the subscription process that gives you a price discount.

    Find A Medical Supplier That Can Process Your Insurance

    Lots of people don't realize that many medical supplies are covered by insurance plans too. It seems people quickly grasp medication coverage, but the system for medical supplies, perhaps because so many of them have been considered "over the counter", that is, available without a prescription, hasn't been as effective at educating people about their insurance coverage in these cases.

    So, step one is check with your insurance company, including government insurance plans like Medicare and Medicaid, to see if the medical supplies you need are covered in whole or in part by your insurance.

    Next, find a retailer that knows how to process your insurance claims. For example, most online medical supply shops will prominently announce on their web pages that they can process your insurance so that you will only pay the discounted rate for your item. Look for this announcement, link, or page on their website, or simply call them to confirm. There are many stores that do this, so I'm not sure why you would bother buying from one that doesn't honor insurance carriers.

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