Health insurance is a necessity in modern society, but it isn’t always the most affordable thing out there. The good news is that it’s possible to lower your health insurance costs with a little luck and a lot of planning. If you’ve been pinching your pennies this year, here are just eight tips for cheaper coverage.
1. Increase Your Deductible
This can be a risky gamble depending on how much you’ll have in your savings account in the event of an emergency, but if you’re in generally good health, it might be worth raising your deductible to lower your monthly premiums. You can always switch things back to normal once your finances are under control.
2. Stay Within Your Network
Not only will you avoid paying additional fees for going to a doctor outside of your plan, but you can often find better deals by those who are considered “in-network.” If you aren’t sure what your network looks like, call up your insurance provider and ask them for a list.
3. Go Online
Companies like Health Insurance Innovations can assist you in creating a web-based health insurance plan no matter what your annual income. They can also offer things like limited benefit plans and guaranteed acceptable for certain policies. If the brick-and-mortar insurance companies aren’t giving you what you need, think about companies like Health Insurance Innovations.
4. Pay More Out of Pocket for Everyday Services
In the same vein as raising your deductible, you can also raise your co-insurance ratio. This refers to the amount that you’ll pay for medical services after all credits, deductibles and insurance policies have been applied. If you’re willing to shell out more for co-insurance, you can pay less on your premiums.
5. Get Better Coverage From Your Workplace
Never underestimate the power of numbers. If you and your co-workers come together and tell your boss that you don’t need an insurance plan with lots of bells and whistles, they might just listen to you. They want to save money too; they just might not have known that everyone was willing to downgrade.
6. Quit Smoking
Were you aware that smokers can pay as much as 50 percent more for the same insurance plans as non-smokers? This is because you’re considered to be an “at-risk” patient when you make yourself vulnerable to things like lung cancer. If you can kick the habit, you can significantly lower the cost of your plan.
7. Get Those Tax Credits
There are a number of subsidies and tax credits available to those who meet the criteria. You’ll need to do some research to figure out if you’re eligible, but they can be an easy way to put money back into your pocket after health insurance costs.
8. Change Your Plan As Needed
Have you recently added or subtracted from your household? How often do you go to the doctor compared to one year ago? Are your kids in good health? You might not need the same plan today that you did yesterday, so make a habit of reassessing your insurance coverage every six months or so. You can save a bundle with the right changes.
Life comes at you fast, so it’s always a good idea to have health insurance protecting your interests. Use these eight tips to ensure that you can find and maintain personal coverage no matter what your budget looks like.