Don’t you wish there was a coupon that covered your visits to the doctor? Maybe a buy one get one free situation or a percentage off? Unfortunately, the reality is that healthcare today is pricey. Costs only seem to be rising, and that means it’s harder than ever to lower your insurance costs.
We can all agree that though health insurance is expensive, it’s a must. Your family needs to be protected in case things happen that aren’t in your control, and health insurance is a necessary safety net. Contrary to popular belief, most health insurance companies aren’t out to steal your money. However, you’ll need to put in the work if you want to keep costs low and save money in the process.
Shop Around for Plans
First, you shouldn’t blindly accept new plans that come your way and assume they’re the best for your family. Believe it or not, you might not even need that much coverage. Whether you have employer-offered healthcare or you purchase your own plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you have options.
You know the importance of shopping around for things like groceries and household goods, so why wouldn’t the same be true for your health insurance? Compare plans through your state marketplace or through employer options, and don’t just take them at face value.
Think about the type of healthcare your family generally needs. If you have young children who are prone to health problems, you might want to consider paying a higher premium. On the other hand, if your family hasn’t faced a health crisis in years and you’re all in good health, you probably don’t need to pay so much month-to-month to get the care you need.
Change Your Lifestyle
While it’s not always possible to drastically change your lifestyle, it might be worth your while when it comes to some things. Smoking, for instance, can cost you up to 50% more for the same coverage plan. While you can’t change your age or your gender, you can avoid the premium of having to list smoking on your insurance application.
Some health insurance plans require key metrics from a medical exam in order to give an accurate quote. This means you need to have things like cholesterol and diabetes under control, both things that can be improved with a healthy diet regimen.
Finally, the last thing some insurance underwriters look into is your driving record. If you’ve racked up things like traffic violations or wrecks, this can reflect poorly on your premium. If you have a clean record from the past 3-5 years, you should be able to find a more favorable price. It pays to pay attention to the road.
Choose an In-Network Doctor
This all goes back to shopping around for the best plan. If you know there’s a doctor you want to be able to see, make sure they’re considered in-network for your insurance company. Look into the plan’s provider network to see which doctors and specialists they favor. You can even all around to these clinics and ask for a quote for standard things like exams, wellness checks, and lab testing. This can help you decide on a doctor that suits your needs and your budget.
Another option that only recently became available is telemedicine. This is a new concept that is saving people money everywhere. With telemedicine, you can access a qualified doctor or health care practitioner on your phone or computer. Some allow you to speak through video or call, while others just ask questions about your health.
The benefit of telemedicine is that you can get routine exams and minor health ailments addressed without paying a lot out of pocket. These meetings run under $50, and they’re available at all hours of the day without an appointment. Your insurance might even cover a portion of the call, and you can still get many prescriptions sent to your local pharmacy.
Protect Your Health
Lowering the cost of health insurance can feel like an impossible task. With costs rising every year, it’s harder than ever to keep up. While there might not be any coupons for lowering the cost of your insurance, you can still reap the most benefits of your existing plan with a few changes. Shopping around every year for the best coverage is a good first step, but don’t be afraid to look for unique ways to meet your medical needs.