How This Mother of 4 is Saving on Health Care (Bet You Forgot About #5!)

cheap health care
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This post was originally published April 1, 2017, as part of our April Fool’s Day lineup.

I’ve always been one of those health-obsessed moms. You know the kind — I buy sanitizing wipes in bulk, obsess over every sniffle and was convinced my youngest was gluten-intolerant while he was still in the womb.

As a mother of four, I know how expensive health care can be. I paid through the nose for Obamacare, and who knows what will happen with the GOP health plan.

But I’m not taking any chances with my family’s health — which is why I’m taking these proactive steps to keep my family away from the doctor and exorbitant medical bills.

1. We Maintain a Healthy Diet on the Cheap.

A healthy diet is one of the best forms of preventative medicine you can buy — but we all know produce can get pricy. I maintain a backyard garden so my family can grow its own fruits and veggies. We won’t just save on health care costs in the long term by staying healthy — we’ve also shaved $1,500 off our grocery bill in the past year!

2. I Always Get Generics Whenever They’re Available.

Always ask your doc if a generic medication is available. Generics contain the same active ingredients and are available in the same dose, strength and form as brand-name drugs, but are significantly cheaper. By making the switch, your family could save hundreds at the pharmacy each month.

3. We’ll Use Our New iPhones to Get Fit.

It really hit home when Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said some Americans will have to choose between getting that new iPhone they really love and investing in their health care. It’s 2017, and no American should ever have to choose between health care and a new iPhone.

Health insurance costs have kept me tethered to my refurbished 4S. (Thanks, Obamacare mandate!)

In fact, my whole family has phones so ancient they won’t let us download apps that will literally pay us to get healthy. That’s why as soon Congress finally gets rid of the mandate, we’re all saying “screw this” and getting new iPhone 8s. By taking advantage of apps that pay us for exercising and sticking to our healthy diet, we’ll save big on health care while earning extra cash.

4. I’m Embracing the Mind-Body Connection.

We’ve all heard of the placebo effect. Sometimes, just thinking you’ve received medical treatment is enough to make you feel better. But have you heard you can make your own placebos?

By adding sugar pills to the mix when we fill our prescriptions, I’ll make our medicines last longer, and we’ll feel better. Win-win!

5. I’m Using a Free Type of Birth Control.

If you’ve been relying on Obamacare for contraceptives, you may have forgotten about a super-effective method of birth control: the kind you learned about in your 10th grade abstinence-only education class.

6. But I’m Also Being Realistic.

But let’s be honest — abstinence isn’t always realistic, and I’ve got four bundles of joy to prove it. Just in case abstinence doesn’t work out for me and my husband, I’m hoarding pennies and pills by breaking my birth control pills in half each day.

And just in case that fails, I’m researching free childbirth options.

7. I’m Building My Kids’ Immune Systems the Natural Way.

I’m organizing play dates with all the anti-vaxxers and their kids.

8. I’m Stocking up on DIY Health Supplies.

No more $500 copays for stitches because Billy decided to shove Benny off the bunk bed. Ditto for insanely high dental bills. By stocking up on supplies like needles, thread and super glue, I’ll save when medical emergencies pop up.

Your Turn: What is your favorite DIY health care hack?

Robin Hartill is an editor at The Penny Hoarder. She’d like to wish you a happy (and healthy) April Fools’ Day.