Ways to Save on Health Insurance Costs
Everyone wants to make sure that they are paying the least amount of money in premiums for the greatest possible amount of health insurance. Here are several tips that you can use to make sure that your premiums arenít too high, or that your coverage isnít too extensive.
- Check if you qualify for a government health insurance subsidy that can help you reduce your monthly premium (Premium Subsidy) as well as out-of-pocket expenses (Cost-Sharing Subsidy). If you do qualify, the subsidy may cover even up to 95% of insurance premium.
- Compare health insurance quotes. Insurance rates between different companies can vary widely. The more quotes you can compare the better your chances of finding an affordable medical plan. This is the most effective and fastest way to save on health insurance expenses.
- Increase your out-of-pocket limit. Choosing a catastrophic health insurance plan with higher deductible and coinsurance limit can decrease you monthly payment significantly. If you can afford to pay out of pocket for smaller medical costs like the occasional copayment or items such as eyeglasses, corrective shoes or routine checkups, then doing so can greatly reduce your premiums. This still leaves you covered when it comes to the unforeseen health events that are often the most expensive to deal with. A higher deductible also met in Health Saving Account (HSA) plans will lower your premiums but at the same time will also increase your financial responsibility if anything bad happens to you or your family member.
- Consider living in suburbs. Health insurance rates greatly depend on the area you live in. Insurers charge higher premiums for those who live in big cities in contrary to people living in small towns or villages. Living in a city is exposed to higher health risks. The likelihood of having a heart attack or being involved in an auto accident is lower in less populated areas.
- Take a careful look at the insurance provided by your employer. Many individuals take the path of least resistance and simply sign up their entire family for the health insurance offered at their workplace. But did you know that many companies wonít cover premiums for anyone other than the workers themselves? This can add up to expensive additional costs for each dependent listed on the policy. If you need to take care of more than just yourself in terms of health insurance, then it can often pay to look elsewhere for coverage. Careful shopping of individual health insurance plans for family members can leave you with more money in your pocket.
- Investigate government health insurance programs. Donít assume that because you are making a decent salary that you donít qualify for free insurance or a substantially discounted rate on your health coverage through government programs. If youíre seriously sick or recently have been a victim of stroke or cancer, changes are that you might be declined individual health insurance coverage by private insurers. In such cases, it pays to check with your state if their health assistance plans cover the pre-existing conditions you might have.
- Change your lifestyle. If you have any risk factors in your life that could set the stage for ill health Ė such as smoking or obesity Ė making positive steps to change towards a healthier lifestyle can definitely reduce your insurance premiums. Smoking increases your health insurance premium even by 50% depending on your age and medical plan you have. Participating in a wellness program through your company or a local gym is a great way to prove to your insurer that you are actively managing your own health.
- Donít pay for options you donít need. Your insurance company might be charging you greater premiums for options like being able to choose any doctor you want Ė which isnít really all that useful if the doctor you prefer is already on their list of healthcare providers. See if you can knock down your costs by limiting your ability to browse a wide number of doctors. At the same time, make sure that the doctors you prefer are covered by your plan and that you arenít being hit with extra fees as a result of them being outside the insurerís network.
- COBRA. When you leave your job, itís possible to continue the health coverage you were receiving through your employer by paying into a COBRA plan. However, if you have no health problems, you might actually get a better deal through a private insurer, so it pays to shop around when your employment circumstances change.
Now that you know the different saving tips, use the most effective one - compare health insurance quotes from multiple companies and see how much you can save.
In order to help cover the high costs of health insurance, Obamacare introduced subsidized insurance. Read more.
In order to facilitate comparison of health insurance plans, the Reform introduced new health plans: Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Catastrophic. Read more.