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Extreme Couponing, Healthcare Version

In the modern era of recession-encouraged cost cutting and reality TV shows, some people have made a name for themselves by “extreme couponing.” They get hundreds of dollars’ worth of groceries for ten, fifteen, twenty dollars. Most people don’t have the time (or the space) for “extreme couponing,” but that doesn’t mean people aren’t looking for good deals. Sites like Groupon and LivingSocial have become a popular way to save money on restaurant deals, a night on the town, large purchases, and “luxury” items.

Medical Coupons Help Save Money

Lately, these sites have branched out to include coupons for …………………dentist checkups? Groupon recently offered a teeth cleaning, exam and an X-ray at a nearby dentist at $39 each, $151 below what the dentist normally charges.

Deals on treatments via these medical coupons have become more and more usual, said Dan Hess, CEO and founder of Local Offer Network, which runs, in a recent Washington Post article. In November, 9% of deals were for health treatments, up from 4.5% at the beginning of last year.

This is great for people with no insurance, or for when the deal beats your insurance plan. You can save money while still staying healthy.

Problems with Using Medical Coupons

However, it does have its issues. When you’re hunting for deals you can only be so picky, and odds are, you’ll be visiting a lot of different places to get the best deal. You don’t know anything about the doctor or their service.

Even worse, they don’t know anything about you. They don’t know your medical history, allergies, or what medications you are currently taking. That makes it easy to overlook a symptom, misdiagnose a condition, or prescribe a medication that reacts badly with something you are already on.

This makes finding your doctors through coupons a little more dangerous. So if you plan to use Groupon or other coupling sites for medical purposes, make sure you do your research on the doctor, and come very prepared with research about yourself.

And no one’s saying you can’t keep an eye out in case your doctor offers a coupon.

Thanks for reading!
Rebecca Busch
Healthcare Advocate

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