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Have We Reached a New Era for Women's Health Care?

More hospitals and doctors have become sensitive to the special needs of women by responding with alternative treatments as opposed to traditional ones.

Hospitals, doctors and clinics are helping women save money on their health care costs in a variety of ways.

When it comes to health, women have historically paid a high price for receiving quality of care and the kinds of choices that allow women to have some control over their health care needs.

Now, however, more hospitals and doctors have become sensitive to the special needs of women, and have responded with more and better choices, alternative treatments and specialized programs that help women save money on health care over the short and long term.

Here are some things every woman should know about health care costs.

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1. You have provider options.

Limited choice insurance plans are renowned for having fewer approved providers in exchange for reduced premium fees. Many women have felt squeezed out of their favorite health care provider's list, and forced to switch providers. But even if you have a limited choice plan, you have options.

Walk-in clinics are popping up everywhere across the country to service people who either have no insurance or who do not wish to visit one of the limited choice providers. Walk-in clinics accept most insurance payments, or out of pocket payments. They offer a broad range of services that sometimes includes ultrasounds, pap smears, EKGs and much more. So the next time you put off your doctor’s appointment because you don't like your limited choice provider, go to a walk-in clinic instead.

2. You can get some services at home.

A growing number of physicians offer house calls. If you're getting a service done that falls under the purview of a doctor who makes house calls, you can save a bundle by not having to check in to a hospital overnight. Common services treated by house call physicians include diagnostic services, blood tests and even ongoing in-home health care.

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3. You can make payments.

If your out-of-pocket expense isn't in your pocket, many hospitals will offer you no-interest financing based on what you tell them you can pay monthly. So instead of having a second heart attack after receiving your hospital bill, or maxing out your high interest credit card, make an appointment to see the billing account manager at your local hospital. You'll find them very amenable to the idea of you making regular payments to pay off your debt.

This solution is far more attractive to them than having to chase you down to try to get you to make some huge lump sum payment that you both know you don't have in your bank account. To arrange, just be honest about your financial situation, be ready to provide documentation, and let them know how much you think you can readily afford.

Are you looking for more information about health care costs and finance?

As the following article shows, check out 10 things every woman should know about finance to discover even more ways to save on health care, in general.

About the author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.

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