Tired of the ever-rising health needs costs? So are we! That’s why we rounded up a comprehensive list to help you save big on medical tests, eye care, hearing aids, mental health, and prescription medications. Learn all about these health freebies below.
If you’ve got a chronic condition, you know the costs for necessary testing can add up quickly. Fortunately, there are ways to get some of these tests for free. For instance, patients with type 2 diabetes can save up to $80 by getting a glucose meter (which delivers blood-glucose levels) from manufacturers, including Accu-Chek, FreeStyle. and Contour for free.
Need to regularly read your blood pressure? You can get an at-home blood pressure monitor entirely paid for by some health insurers (including certain Blue Cross plans and Medicare Part B) with a doctor’s prescription, saving you up to $300.
Tip! Protect your health by taking multivitamins? Score them for free by visiting participating Good Neighbor Pharmacy locations
If you don’t have insurance that covers vision tests (which can cost $50 to $100) or eyeglasses (which can cost $100 to $400), and your budget is too tight to pay out of pocket, don’t fret: You may qualify for the Eyes of Hope gift certificate program from the vision health company VSP Global. It covers one comprehensive eye exam per year and one pair of prescription eyeglasses. Simply apply at VSPVision.com.
Alternatively, if you’re 65 or over, you may be eligible for a comprehensive exam at no cost from EyeCare America, a program offered by the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which you can apply for at AAO.org.
Need glaucoma surgery? The American Glaucoma Society provides it for free for those on a limited budget without insurance.
Thanks to a new US Food and Drug Administration rule, you no longer need a prescription to buy hearing aids — they’re available over the counter at stores like CVS and Walmart, starting at $199, saving you about $3,000 per device. But you may be able to get them for free by contacting your local Lions Club (LionsClubs.org), a nonprofit, volunteer-run group that recycles gently used hearing aids, then donates them to folks who can use them. Or visit HearingAidDonations.org/resources to find hearing aid assistance offered by federal, state, and local agencies near you.
If you’ve noticed you’re worrying more than usual or feeling down, talking with a therapist can help, but it will cost you about $100 per hour, on average. Luckily, you can speak with a mental health professional in person or via video without spending a dime. That’s because there are private practices, clinics, and community centers that offer therapy for free or use a sliding scale. To find them, enter your zip code at NeedyMeds.org. Another option: Try a mental health “chatbot,” which is an interactive app that offers customized advice and exercises based on your needs, such as Woebot. A new study found they were effective at helping folks manage their moods.
Want to save cash on your medications? If your doctor gives you an Rx for a brand-name drug, ask, “Is there a generic equivalent?” Research shows that 17 percent of the time, prescriptions are given for a brand name when a generic (which can save you up to 70 percent) is available. If there is no generic equivalent, contact the medication’s manufacturer and ask about their patient assistance program, which many (like Bayer and Pfizer) now offer to cover some or all of the cost.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.