5. An ounce of prevention...

One way to avoid healthcare costs is to stay healthy! Even though there are things beyond our control, there are certain preventative measures we can take to maintain good health. First, don't skip your annual check-ups! These are usually 100% covered by your health insurance and can detect issues in timely manner. Second, some health plans offer decreased premiums for those who are actively exercising, or even offer discounts for your local health clubs. Spending $20 per month on a gym membership may be one of the best healthcare investments you ever make! So pick up a phone and talk to your insurance provider about things you can do to impact your premium. Oftentimes we could pay less, but don't because we simply never asked! You don’t get 100% of things you don’t ask for.

6. Discount digging

Always check with your doctor or pharmacist about medication that's on the heavy discounted list. Wal-Mart and other pharmacies have a $4.00 prescription list, so ask your doctor to prescribe, if at all possible, medicine that's found on that list. Before you leave your doctor’s office, always ask for “generic” medication. How about shopping for a different pharmacy? Pharmacies will often offer special savings and discounts for giving them your business. Shop around; ask about benefits of using one pharmacy over another and then make the best financial decision.

BONUS: One more thing…

There is an option to purchase a supplemental insurance to cover certain medical needs. Depending on your personal situation this may be a good option to ensure additional substantial coverage for a small monthly amount.

Insurance co-ops are also available as an alternative to your standard, traditional healthcare coverage. Read up on it. Talk to those who may be using it and ask about their level of satisfaction.

Regardless of where you find yourself today, these 6 tips are things we can all do try and keep costs down, and prepare our families and ourselves for the days ahead.

Megan Pacheco is one of the new additions to the Finicity (provider of Mvelopes and Money4Life Coaching) team. She comes with over 13 years of experience in the Biblical Finances area. Her content has been published by Money Matters, Do Well and Lifeway's More than Living. She is a mom of two young boys, and lives with her husband David in the Atlanta area.

Publication date: October 18, 2013