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How to improve your health and stretch your medical aid

Finance & Money

Posted on Monday, January 20, 2020

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It seems to make no difference if you have a top-notch medical aid plan or a cheap option, you still end up paying out cash for healthcare. The common cold that leads to a doctor’s visit and a round of cold medication can easily set you back over R1 000.  So, what can you do to make your medical aid go further? Follow these health strategies to make 2020 your family’s healthiest year ever.

 

  1. Go for generics

A generic medicine is one that is copied from a brand-name formula. Apart from the name, they are precisely the same. But they also come with a cheaper price tag. Your pharmacist should always offer you a generic medicine alternative to the one prescribed by your doctor. However, it’s recommended to check with your doctor first before you make the switch.

 

  1. Pick your pharmacy with care

It’s great to be able to pop into a local pharmacy that knows you and your family by name. Smiles and good customer service are priceless, but are they offering you the best deal? Shop around and see what the competitors would charge for dispensing fees. There may be cheaper options. If you are on chronic medications, the difference could really affect the health of your wallet.

 

  1. Take control of your family’s health

Maybe it’s time to take stock of the poor habits that exist under your roof. Smoking, excessive alcohol intake, sugary drinks? Time to ditch them. Build at least 30 minutes of walking into your day. Switch the ratio of meat to vegetables on your plate so that you’re getting more greens and less protein. Introduce meat-free Monday meals. These subtle switches will transform the health of your family, which means cheaper medical costs because fewer people are getting ill.

 

  1. Write a health to-do list

Flu vaccinations before winter? Tick. Get your cholesterol checked? Tick. Get an annual mammogram done if you fit the risk criteria? Tick. Dentist? Tick. There are a number of screening tests and procedures (many of which will be funded by your medical aid) that will put you on the front foot when it comes to your health. Fill your calendar with them throughout the year and make your bookings ahead of time so they don’t fall off your to-do list.

 

  1. Become a first aider

It’s a good idea for every family to have at least one member who is trained in first aid. A basic course will arm you with the knowledge to see to the basic emergency care needs of your family, such as cuts or mild burns. You get to upskill and save trips to the doctor at the same time.

 

  1. Keep your medicine cabinet stocked

It’s the day-to-day medical expenses that can really add up. Keeping your medical cabinet stocked with the essentials will be cheaper in the long term. You can fill it with low-cost generics or buy items such as painkillers when you see them on special.

 

The information contained in this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.

 

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