The rising cost of living has made people more conscientious of what they are spending and looking for ways to save money anywhere they can. Cutting costs on a health insurance policy may seem scary. You do not want to be left with inadequate coverage.
Some people are also unsure of how private health insurance works and the options out there. Regardless, there are ways to save money on your health insurance and make sure you have enough coverage.
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You will want to understand what you have and need. Take time to learn about what is available from private health insurance companies. Look at how different policies work and what they provide. The best policy will provide the coverage you need with premiums and out of pocket costs that fit your budget.
High Deductible Health Insurance
A common way people save money on health care is to choose high deductible health insurance. This can be a great option if you plan for it. Deductibles can be used by insurance companies either alone or with copayment plans. You may have to meet your annual deductible before they will pay any claims or it may only apply to hospitalization and surgery costs.
Your best tools for saving money on a health insurance plan are research and detailed comparisons.
If you have a deductible that only applies to special types of medical care, raising the level may not affect you. On these plans you may not even use your deductible most years. This means raising it will lower your health insurance premiums and you will still have protection in the event you have an accident or serious illness later. You can lower the impact of the high deductible by keeping enough to cover your deductible in savings in case of an emergency.
If you have to meet your deductible every year before the insurance will pay raising your deductible may not be a good option. Financial advisor Dave Ramsey says you should consider this option if you do not go to the doctor very often, once or twice a year, and combine it with a health savings plan. If you or your family has several visits a year on average you may end up spending more than you save.
An HSA health insurance plan may be a good option; many times this plan is offered by companies to compliment a high deductible plan. Your pretax dollars can be placed in the health savings account tax. Your earnings may also be tax exempt. The money is invested by the health insurance company and the account holder can withdraw the funds at any time to cover medical costs.
Look At Your Current Coverage
If you are trying to save money on your health insurance policy look at your current coverage in detail. A certain amount of coverage is required by law.
However, you may be paying for extra services such as family planning and maternity care. This may be a part of your policy- especially if you are on a group health insurance plan. If you are not in need of this type of care removing it from your policy could save you hundreds of dollars.
Sometimes you may be able to find a policy with a new company that offers the care you need at lower price.
Other services to look at are dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage. Check if you have rider policies for catastrophic care or specific diseases. These types of plans can be great if you need and use them but cost a bundle if you do not. Always look at what you use each year before canceling any additional coverage.
Another option may be to shop around for a new policy. Make sure you compare coverage, premiums, and out of pocket costs carefully. Money Zine offers a tool to compare the total cost of policies.
Ways to Save Money
If you are trying to save money on health insurance try also looking at your out of pocket expenses. There may be ways you can cut costs there as well. One of the expenses that people often do not have coverage for is prescription drugs. Even health insurance prescription coverage doesn’t pay for every medication.
Doctors’ offices are routinely given drug samples by pharmaceutical companies. If you are getting a new prescription ask your doctor if they have samples you can try first. This way you don’t have to pay for a medication until the doctor knows if it will work. If samples are not available ask if the medication comes in a cheaper generic form.
Before you rush to the emergency room for a cough, fever, or injury assess the seriousness of your condition. If you feel it is not life threatening, call your doctor’s office first. Many times they can assess the situation and determine if it can be treated in their office. Many clinics also have a doctor on call after hours.
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