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7 Ways to Lower Your Health Expenses

Spend less with discounted health exams, free yoga and even no-cost medical services

Elwood Smith

En español  |  1. Free yoga. Yoga provides many benefits for people over 50. Newbies can try a free week of classes in September and October. To find a participating studio near you, visit monthcard/.

2. Members only? Not when it comes to buying pharmaceuticals at low-price warehouse clubs Costco and Sam's Club. They fill prescriptions for anyone.

3. Find health care. No health insurance? Go to to locate a federally funded health center that provides medical and dental care with sliding-scale fees based on your ability to pay.

4. Eye care. If you're 65 or older, you may qualify to have a volunteer ophthalmologist perform a comprehensive medical eye exam and provide up to one year of care at no out-of-pocket cost. Visit

5. Dental checkup. Treating common problems like toothaches at an E.R. can cost 10 times more than preventive care. Contact a local dental school or to get information about free or low-cost care.

Ways to save on health expenses - Rows of white pills

Buy your pharmaceuticals from low-price warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam's Club. They fill prescriptions for anyone. — Photo by Ocean/Corbis

6. No copay. The health care law provides for free preventive tests by participating Medicare providers. Included are wellness visits, mammograms, colorectal cancer screenings, bone density scans, Pap smears and other tests. Check with your Medicare-participating doctor. Search for the official handbook Medicare & You, which provides details on tests.

7. Join a clinical trial. You may get free medical care, often at top facilities, and possibly access to experimental treatments. There are risks, of course, and participation may take months. If you're interested, go to

Contributors to 99 Great Ways to Save 2012: Arthur Dalglish, Cathie Gandel, Joan Rattner Heilman, Sid Kirchheimer, Jason L. Lawrence, Marsha Mercer, Geoff Williams, Jeff Yeager and AARP members like you.

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