The Road to
Skip those checked-bag fees
Many airlines charge $25 for your first checked
bag and $35 for the second, but some credit card
and frequent-flier programs let you check bags
for free. With the Delta SkyMiles card from
American Express, up to nine people on one
reservation can each check a bag free of charge.
As a Continental OnePass gold, silver, or platinum member, you can bring two bags free.
Let Twitter send you hot deals
Airfares and vacation-package rates change
constantly, making Twitter a great way to learn
about the latest sales. Sign up at airline and
hotel sites for Twitter feeds of exclusive deals.
United Airlines offers “Twares” deals; JetBlue
touts its “Cheeps” every
Tuesday. You can also follow
travel pros to see what savings
they’re tweeting about. AARP
THE MAGAZINE travel expert
Peter Greenberg culls the best
deals for you at twitter.com/
8 SPECIAL SECTION | AARP THE MAGAZINE
Ask your doctor
about cheaper pills
Print out your insurer’s list of approved drugs
from its website and bring the list to your next
doctor’s appointment. That way, your doctor
can see if one drug is more economical for
you than a comparable one, perhaps because
of a less expensive co-pay.
Negotiate with your
such as CVS’s
pharmacist and physician
Many pharmacies match competitors’ lower
prices, though you may need to request it.
(The websites of some state health departments
publish drug prices of local pharmacies, making
it easy to compare.) Certain pharmacies, such
as those in the Supervalu network, including
Osco and Sav-On, offer price matching as a
routine policy. Drugstore.com will match prices
on a 90-day supply.
If you recently lost your health insurance, ask
your doctor to cut you a break. Say, “I now have
to pay for my own care, so would you accept the
same amount you received from my insurance
in the past?” Your former insurer may have paid
60 percent of the list price for an office visit.
Price-shop a procedure
Before undergoing an elective medical procedure, such as LASIK eye surgery or dental
veneers, find out how much this costs. Knowing
the range can help you choose between comparable care providers. Healthcarebluebook.com
lists what it considers to be a fair price, based
on how much providers receive from insurers.
For example, if you’re in need of knee arthroscopy in Denver, Healthcare Blue Book says a
fair price for the procedure at a hospital would
be $6,980 (that includes the physican’s fee and
anesthesia). Newchoicehealth.com, a similar
site, shows what health care providers actually
charge consumers, on average, based on its
surveys. Its figure for knee arthroscopy at a
Denver hospital: $11,500. ;
Get more tips for spending
less at aarp.org/savemoney.