Sickness is an unavoidable fact of life. Even the people with the best regimen for keeping clean and healthy succumb to a virus from time to time. You can’t always keep sickness away, but with health insurance, you could be prepared to deal with it once it’s there.
The only issue with health insurance is that it tends to be rather rough on the wallet. So what’s the solution? Well, with today’s tips, we’ll help you have your cake and eat it too. Your health insurance-flavored cake.
Shop Around Year to Year for Health Insurance
If you’ve already got health insurance, that doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels and be content with your plan. Every year, companies offering health insurance can change their rates, and if you don’t keep checking back, you might miss out on a better deal. Companies often try to undercut their competition for this reason, and unless you have a strong predilection for one company over another, you’ll be the one to benefit from it.
Not only are there different companies available to pick from, but also different plans within those companies. These plans can often come with stipulations, such as requiring the usage of specific groups of doctors, or even a specific medical company.
There exist four different kinds of plans, PPO (Preferred Provider Organization), EPO (Exclusive Provider Organization), POS (Point of Service), and HMO (Health Maintenance Organization).
Doing research on these four insurance options while shopping around could help you identify what services you do and don’t need, and save you money on health insurance if it turns out you’re paying for something extraneous.
Tip: Beware of Traps
Some insurance plans can seem to offer wonderfully low premiums, making payment on the insurance seems like a breeze, but all may not be as cheery as it seems. These plans often work great if you manage to stay fully healthy for the year, but if your health does happen to fail, you could be in for a rude awakening.
Many companies try to draw people in with low premiums, only for the payments to skyrocket once sickness does occur. Check and make sure that the plans you sign up for don’t fall into this category, unless you’re supremely confident in a healthy year.
Some Health Insurance Money Saving Tricks
If you meet the requirements for a plan, you might be able to get subsidies on your health insurance to keep costs down. You can check here using this calculator to see if you qualify for any subsidies. If you do, you may be able to enjoy a cut down health insurance cost, and be able to afford the service that much easier.
Another neat trick involves having a spouse. Sorry single men and ladies, this is a marriage-exclusive insurance option. If you and your spouse have two different health plans, it’s possible that the two of them can work together. Putting each other on two smaller plans that can cover the other’s gaps can be cheaper than buying one bigger, comprehensive plan for both people involved. It’s a unique option not many are aware of, but one that can definitely be taken advantage of.
Get in Contact with a Health Insurance Broker
It can be difficult to navigate the world of health insurance, so why not reach out to a professional? Health insurance brokers are people well versed on the ins and outs of the health insurance world and its workings, and they can help you make sense of what might seem like ancient Greek.
You don’t need to worry about getting swindled either. Health insurance brokers don’t work with the companies providing the insurance, they work for you. So if you hire one, they’re not going to be twirling their moustache as they trick you into a plan you can’t afford. They’ll be helping you pick the plan that works best for you and your situation instead.
One of the services a broker can provide is double-checking your medical bills. Unfortunately, medical billing is proven to have more common mistakes than most other types of bills. Hire a good broker though, and they can triple check your bills to make sure you don’t fall victim to one of these errors. They really can be lifesavers.
Health Insurance Discounts and How to Earn Them
Just like any other expensive purchase, searching for discounts is always a great plan. Some practices and plans offer discounts for making things a bit easier on the medical officials taking care of you. These can include:
- Paying in Advance for Upcoming Treatments
Giving an advance payment on a future procedure can lower the cost and therefore, the strain on your insurance.
- Utilizing New Technology
Some practices offer price reductions based on usage of new technology. Implementing devices like step counters and fitness trackers into your life can sometimes earn you a cost cut at the doctor’s.
- Be honest with Your Provider
If you’re in a real financial pinch, it never hurts to explain your situation to your providers. Its not a guarantee, but they’re people too, and some may offer a price reduction based on your circumstances. Honesty can only help.
Review What Prescriptions Your Health Insurance Covers
One final option to save some spend on your health insurance is to see what kinds of prescriptions they cover. Some insurance options can cover specific drugs or testing, and this can be a two way street to savings.
On one hand, if your plan is covering for numerous drugs and tests that you’re never going to need, you can probably start looking elsewhere for alternatives. On the other hand, if you know that you’re going to need a specific drug, or if you or your family have history with certain health risks and you want to be tested regularly, finding a plan that covers those specific costs could save you having to deal with them otherwise.
Your health should always be one of your highest priorities and getting good health insurance can help you stay on top of it. But that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to get good coverage. There’s plenty of ways to keep your costs from being astronomically high, and hopefully the tips we’ve gone over today can help you save money on health insurance in the future.