This weekend I was feeling a bit under the weather. I noticed that my eye was sore Friday evening, but when I took my contacts out, it seemed fine. The next morning I woke up and my left eye was in pain. When I went to the bathroom and check, it had become swollen. It was painful and annoying the entire weekend.

Having health insurance can save you money on unexpected bills.

Having health insurance can save you money on unexpected bills.

Home Remedies I Tried for My Swollen Eye

I wanted to see if it was something minor I could resolve at home before spending money for a doctor to check out. I tried very warm compresses on my left eye to see if that would help, but no real changes. I also wiped with a warm wash cloth with diluted shampoo. This morning, seeing it had not gotten better, I went ahead and decided to go see a doctor.

My regular optometrist was not available (he works part-time), so i went to Walmart to go to their walk in clinic. Unfortunately, they are closed Mondays, so I checked and found a Next Care office near my apartment.

Health Insurance and Office Visits

I went to the doctor’s office around 10:20am and was seen around 10:50am. They did the regular check up with my blood pressure (92/68), temperature, weight, etc. It all seemed well, with the exception of my eye of course. My copay for the office visit at next Care was $30 and my medicine (antibiotic) was $10 at Walgreens. My information sheet from the doctor’s office recommends that I drink plenty of fluids and avoid caffeine and alcohol since they can cause dehydration.

I’m grateful we have health insurance, but even with health insurance, it can be expensive.

Saving Money on Doctor Visits

  • Let your doctor know up front that you’re on a budget. Don’t is still that a doctor will give you the best deal just because of the economy. If you need a prescription and he or she mentions a particular drug ask your doctor if there is a generic that is just as effective. Many pharmacy now have some generic medicines for $4/month.
  • Join the Farm Bureau. After paying a annual membership fee, you can qualify for group health insurance. You don’t need to be a farmer to join.
  • If there are no generics available, see if they can quickly check what your insurance expects you to pay for this medicine. If you’re uncomfortable asking them to do this, before you leave the doctor’s office call your local pharmacy to check the price yourself.
  • If you don’t have dental insurance, try a local dental school to see if they have any openings for patients. Try and use this for your weekly checkups.
  • For items like prescription eyeglasses or contact lens, shop around online to see if you can get a good deal.

If you’re looking for some more tips on saving on your health expenses like doctor visits and prescription medicine, check out a post I wrote on the topic.

Finding Health Insurance Coverage

If you don’t qualify or your job doesn’t offer health insurance, you should look for a health plan yourself. You may want to try these sites to find policies within your price range:

Please compare health insurance policies carefully before signing up for a policy. When we moved out of state and didn’t have health insurance coverage, we found a policy to cover us in the short term.

Your Take

How do you keep health care costs down?