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Health dollars & sense

Want to cut medical expenses without compromising your health? Try the following money-saving tips to help keep your medical costs in check.

Buy the right amount of medication—and no more

You may think you’re saving money by asking your healthcare provider to prescribe an “economy size” quantity of medication—but that tactic can cost you. Medication starts deteriorating the minute it’s made. If you buy too much, it can go bad before you use it up—and it’s not wise to take drugs past their expiration date. What’s more, if your doctor changes your prescription before you’ve finished what you have, you’ve wasted your money. Check with your doctor to see whether you’ll be able to finish the quantity he or she is prescribing before the label’s expiration or “beyond use” date. Also ask whether it’s likely you’ll have your medication changed before you’ve finished it.

Get free or low-cost health screenings

Detecting health problems early is key to staying well, but if you’re uninsured or your insurance doesn’t provide adequate coverage, you may be inclined to skip important health screenings. Hospitals, senior centers and some special community events may offer free or low-cost health screenings—and you may not even need an appointment. Screenings include tests for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, vision and glaucoma, bone density, mammography and colorectal health.