Health

5 Tips to Reduce Your Health Insurance Costs

Health Insurance Check

Health insurance is a life-saver in many different ways. A good plan can do more than just providing you with the reassurance of being able to choose the best treatment available.

But good things are often pricey, and health insurance is no different. If you’re not careful, a medical bill can cost you a lot and quickly become a serious issue.

Reducing this burden, however, is possible, regardless of whether you seek treatment once a year or require continual care. It’s just a matter of reading the right documents and laws, knowing what to do, and negotiating the right deals.

Here are a few useful tips for spending less and get more when it comes to health insurance!

1. Seek discounts

Hospitals and clinics include prompt-pay discounts if you pay as soon as the service is received. This discount can range from 10 to 40 percent, so it’s not something you should shrug off. Both health care providers and insurance companies may offer discounts if you are a good-standing client (or patient). 

Lastly, government rebates on health insurance can be claimed as premium reductions when annual tax returns are filed.

2. Choose a doctor within your network

Choosing the right doctor can be quite a hassle on its own. On top of that, looking for the right doctor included in your insurance network can be even harder!

Is your favorite doctor working within a facility that accepts the insurance policy? Is he or she still part of that plan? Many physicians drop out without notice, so be sure to check beforehand.

When you start your search to find the best primary care physician or specialist, be sure to check if that health care provider is included in the plan’s provider network. If the practitioner you chose is not participating in the plan, you may be billed extra money in the form of out-of-network charges.

3. Save money on drug prescriptions

If you suffer from a chronic disease, prescription drugs can be a significant part of your monthly medical expenses. There are, however, some pretty simple ways to save some money when you buy medications.

If you take your medicines regularly, such as to treat diabetes or high blood pressure, you can save money by ordering a larger supply. Many health insurance programs offer mail order options that can provide you with a 90-day supply at just a fraction of the usual cost.

Again, the Internet can be your best friend. If you buy brand-name drugs, check the manufacturer’s website for discount cards or coupons. Also, many online pharmacies offer better prices than retail ones, and you can easily compare their prices.

Lastly, ask your doctor to prescribe you a generic medication. Generics can cost up to 80 percent less than their brand-name alternatives.

4. Shop around for the best offer

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, different insurance brokers, and state marketplaces now compete against each other. You can now shop around until you find the health insurance company that offers you the best quotes. 

Just like you would do to find better car insurance, you can switch from one fund to another at your leisure. In fact, you are protected by a law known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

This act protects your rights to health coverage whenever you renew your coverage, change job or city, or divorce from your spouse.

5. Take care of your health

The best way to save money for health care expenses is, hands down, to stay healthy! As simple as it may sound, improving your wellness can lower the need for medical tests and medications dramatically.

Unhealthy lifestyle habits can increase the risk of suffering from chronic diseases. Many insurance companies know that and often charge more for people with bad habits such as smoking. 

You can pay up to 50 percent more for the same plan if you’re a smoker!

The Affordable Care Act added more opportunities to stay healthy and cut medical costs at the same time. For example, seniors may receive free, or low-cost flu shots and women may have access to free mammograms.

Most screening programs and preventive services are offered for free, and you should make sure you take full advantage of them. Services include annual dental cleanings, cholesterol and blood pressure measurements, and preventive cancer screening.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to make your policy more affordable. As with many things in a consumer’s life, a little know-how can go a long way towards providing you with the best deals.

Even if your health care costs never bothered you too much, following these tips can still be useful. It doesn’t matter how much you spend on health services – finding a way to spend less is always better!