13 Insurance Tips That Could Save You Thousands
The rising cost of healthcare continues to be a problem, due to expensive prescriptions and high-priced hospitalizations. There are still ways to reduce healthcare costs. Follow these health insurance tips.
How to save on your health insurance
It can be difficult to lower the cost of health insurance without losing a lot of coverage. If you follow the advice of these experts, it is possible to save money on your medical care and reduce your health insurance expenses.
As with most things in life it is important to research and compare many plans before making a decision. Gail Trauco (nurses and patient rights advocate) says that there are many options, including HMOs and PPOs. The one that suits you best based on your needs will be the one you choose. It is important that you understand the differences among plans. It is important to understand the differences between plans.
Opt for a higher deductible
Yes, high-deductible plans can be risky. If something happens, there could be huge out-of pocket costs. Kelsey Allan of TermLife2Go said that if you are healthy and don’t anticipate many doctor visits over a year you may be able to increase your deductible for a lower premium. You can save a lot by doing this.
Use a Health Savings Account.
An HSA should be one of your health care terms. “HSA-eligible health plans can save you a bundle,” encourages Sande Drew of eHealthInsurance.com. You can withdraw the money from your account without taxes and grow it tax-free. This is the main benefit. Drew suggests that you should add to your account often to benefit from the tax break. You never know what time you will need the funds so it is best to be prepared.
Find the right place to receive care
It can be costly to rush to the emergency room for after-hours care if you don’t have the funds. You should never go to the ER. Consider other affordable options, such as urgent care clinics or telemedicine. Research is a good idea as prices can vary among similar facilities. Andrea Woroch is a personal finance expert who shares the following: “Choosing a standalone radiology or surgery center will result in significant savings. You may have a physician who works at several hospitals or surgery centers. Ask for help to find the best deal.
While it may seem foolish to save money on healthcare, it would be foolish to pay a premium for name brand medication when a more affordable generic is available. FDA regulations require that prescription and over the counter generics are identical in terms of dosage, strength and safety. The generic version of the drug will still save you 30 to 50%, even for the most costly prescription drugs in America. A month’s supply for Zocor High Cholesterol will cost around $175. Generic versions will cost $70. This drug is cheaper by going generic. It will cost you approximately $1,260 annually! Some drug prices are out-of-control.
Take part in a wellness program
Kelsey Allan from TermLife2Go, an insurance expert, says that certain companies might offer a lower premium for employees who complete wellness challenges or perform tasks to preventative health. “You could get free coverage by simply getting in a certain number, for instance.” (If you are a member of one of these incentive programs this list of 35 healthy living hacks will help you pass the screening.
Pay when you need to
Most people don’t pay for medical procedures until they are finished. Michael Foguth from Foguth Financial Group suggests that you might be missing out a lower hospital bill. He recommends that you ask your insurance provider about pre-paying for a procedure or paying in full if you do not have coverage.
Be careful before you consent to any tests
Nicole Rochester, MD, from Your GPS Doc, received a $600 bill to pay for a series test that was later deemed not necessary by her insurance company. She said she wanted lab tests, CT scans and MRI scans. It is crucial that you ask questions. Don’t decline any medical tests due to cost. But, some doctors may choose to focus on the details and follow a more systematic approach when faced with this question.
Explore off-exchange alternatives
You don’t want to be limited in your search for insurance on the government exchanges if you want to ensure you get the best deal. Drew warns you that you might not be able to see all the options available. The government-run exchange for health insurance in your state will list you the plans that can be purchased with a subsidy. You can compare prices and plans at private online insurance marketplaces like eHealth.com if you want the best possible selection. Private marketplaces are often able to help you enroll in subsidy eligible plans while also showing Obamacare-compliant options not available through government sites.
Use a share
There is power in numbers, which is why health sharing plans have become so popular. You can join forces with others to help cover each other’s medical costs. Seth Denson co-founder of GDP Advisors says that while these companies often require members to have a good health, premiums can be up to 50 percent lower than traditional insurance.
You should think beyond the traditional notion of health insurance
The options for your healthcare today are endless. Karen Frost is Vice President of Health Strategy and Solutions for Alight Solutions. She explains, “Many of the new models in the market are targeted at improving patient care (ACOs and Integrated Health Models like Kaiser or Geisinger), and Centers of Expertise.” This is a great way to save money on your premiums as well as the cost of care if you have doctors in the network.
Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate
Did you know that 88% of medical bills are incorrect? You don’t need much proof to look at each bill carefully. Woroch recommends asking for the entire bill and checking for any inaccuracies. The same applies to the explanation of benefits provided by your health insurance agency. If you are unsure about something, contact your insurance company and ask questions.” She also recommended Co-Patient. This website reviews your bills and helps you to resolve them.
Each year, you should reevaluate.
Although it might seem tempting to just set it and forget about your health insurance, it isn’t the best idea. DirectPath’s Kim Buckey cautions you not to roll over the same coverage year to year if your situation (and/or premiums) has changed since your last visit to your plan. Do these 11 home assessments while you are there.