When trying to save, don't skimp on your health

July 15, 2008 2:30:32 PM PDT
As the economy continues to get worse, it's not just hurting people paying their mortgage or at the pump, it's also hurting our health.

Dr. Scott McNeal helps run Delaware Valley Community Health centers. He said the rising cost of health care, mixed with a bad economy is a dangerous combination. Patients are putting off doctor and specialist appointments and treatments like dialysis, either because they can't afford the co-pay or the transportation. Many patients are also skimping on medications

"Medications are still drugs, they have good effects and bad effects. They're prescribed in a certain way and sometimes when you don't take them as prescribed, it can actually do more damage than good," Dr. McNeal warned.

He recommends if you have no insurance, visit a local- or federally- funded clinic and ask about special benefits programs. They can help you get free or low-cost medications.

If you have insurance but the co-pays are too much, ask your doctor for advice. Don't change your treatment on your own to fit your budget.