13 Tips to Save Thousands on Your Health Insurance
Due to high-priced hospital visits and expensive prescriptions, healthcare costs are on the rise. There are many ways to save money on your healthcare costs. Just follow these tips for health insurance.
How to save money when buying health insurance
It is difficult to reduce the cost of your insurance without losing too much coverage. These experts have some great advice for you: You can get affordable medical care, and lower your insurance costs.
Take a look around
It pays to compare several plans before you make a decision. Gail Trauco is a nurse and patient rights advocate. It is important to understand the differences between plans. You must decide whether you want the option to choose your doctor (which you will need a PPO for) or if an HMO is more comfortable. She also recommends that you work with an insurance broker to help you make these decisions.
Opt for a higher deductible
High-deductible plans can be risky. After all, in the event of a catastrophic event, you may be liable for large out-of-pocket expenses. Kelsey Allan, TermLife2Go says that if you’re healthy and don’t expect many doctor visits per year, you could increase your deductible to get a lower premium. This can help you save a lot.
You can use a Health Savings Account to save money
An HSA is a term you should know about health care. “HSA-eligible health plans can save you a bundle,” encourages Sande Drew. They are tax-deductible, so you can not only grow your money tax-free but also have the option to withdraw it without having to pay taxes. Drew says that it’s best to add to your account frequently to get the tax benefit. You never know when you might need them so be prepared.
Care should be taken only at the right places
You might find yourself spending a lot of money rushing to the emergency department every time you need urgent care. You should not go to the ER as a last resort. Instead, consider other options such as urgent care clinics and telemedicine. It is worth doing some research before you make your decision. Prices can differ between similar facilities. Andrea Woroch, personal finance expert, says that you can save a lot of money by choosing a standalone radiology and surgery center. Ask your physician for help in finding the best price. (These 50 hospital secrets are worth knowing.
Although it is foolish to cut corners on healthcare, paying more for brand-name medication than a cheaper generic would be wise. FDA demands that prescription and over-the counter generics must be identical in dosage, strength, safety and efficacy. Even for the most expensive prescription drugs in America, the generic version can save you up to 50%. For example, Zocor high cholesterol will cost you $175 per month. The generic version will cost you $70. Generic versions of this drug can save you $1,260 per year. Some drugs are too expensive.
Participate in a Wellness Program
Kelsey Allan is an insurance expert at termLife2Go. She says that some companies offer lower premiums to employees who take part in wellness challenges and complete certain tasks for preventative healthcare. “You may get free coverage simply by doing a certain amount of steps,” Kelsey Allan, an insurance expert at TermLife2Go, says.
Pay when it is convenient
People wait until the end of a hospitalization or surgery to pay. Michael Foguth, Foguth Financial Group says that you may be missing out on lower hospital costs. He suggests that if you are already covered and have a procedure coming up, you should inquire about pre-paying.
Before you agree to take part in tests, think twice
Nicole Rochester, MD of Your GPS Doc, was presented with a $600 bill for a series tests that were later deemed unnecessary by her insurance company. Asking questions is important: “If your doctor says she would like to order lab tests, CT scans or MRI scans, ask her what she is asking and if she feels the test is necessary.” Do not decline medical tests that are necessary based on price. However, when confronted with this question, some doctors will narrow their focus and use a more step-wise approach.
Check out the off-exchange options
If you want to get the best value for your money, searching for health insurance through government exchanges won’t suffice. Drew warns that you may not see everything available. “The government-run insurance exchanges in your state will show the plans that are eligible for purchase with a subsidy from the government in your area. If you want to ensure you have seen all the options, make sure to compare prices and plans at a private online marketplace for health insurance like eHealth.com. Many private marketplaces offer the opportunity to enroll in subsidies-eligible plans and also show you Obamacare-compliant plans that are not available through government websites. However, some states have better options.
You might consider using a share
Health sharing plans are very popular because of their power to unite people. You join other people and share the cost of medical care. Seth Denson, cofounder of GDP Advisors, says that although these companies may require you to be in good health before you can join, premiums for health insurance can be as low as 50% if you have access through an association-like platform.
Look beyond traditional health insurance
There are many options available today when it comes to healthcare. Karen Frost, Alight Solutions Vice President of Health Strategy and Solutions, explains that “many new models are being introduced in market to improve patient care (ACOs and Integrated Health models such as Kaiser or Geisinger, Centers of Expertise, and so on). It’s easy to save money if your doctors are part of the network.
Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate
Did you know that nearly eight in ten medical bills contain errors? This is all you need to make sure that each bill is thoroughly reviewed. Woroch advises that it pays to get the complete bill and double-check for errors. You should do the same for the explanations of your benefits from your insurance agency. You can call your insurance provider if you find something not right.
Every year, re-evaluate
It’s tempting to think that you can just “set it and forget it” with your health insurance. However, this is not the best approach. DirectPath’s Kim Buckey warns against rolling over the same coverage year after year, as your circumstances (and your premiums) may change since your last check-in. While you’re there, take these 11 home checks to make sure your evaluations are complete.