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Yes, health insurance is becoming more expensive every day. With all the talks in the new Health Reform bill, it is going to just increase cost more and more.  But the good news is there are still ways you can save and find affordable health insurance that’s right for you and your family.

While you’re looking to save money on your health insurance, there are ways to save without sacrificing the needs of your medical coverage. Being an informed shopper will make you want to find the right health insurance company and policy that fits your needs and your budget for you and your family. If you're not cautious, you might end up sacrificing some important benefits, you have to be certain that if you become seriously ill, you are adequately protected. Also be careful not to fall in the trap of those limited medical plans.  Those can be very dangerous.  Read all the fine print, and make sure when you get your cards it doesn't have the words, "This is not insurance".

Here are some ways to help lower your health insurance bill without compromising your standard benefits of care:

1. Increase Your Deductable

A good thing to keep in mind is that insurance is supposed to protect against a serious catastrophe, not pay for regular health maintenance costs. The more you agree to pay for services out of pocket in the form of deductibles and co-payments, the less you'll end up paying in premiums. You're not paying for the doctors' visits you never needed to go to, or services you won't use. A 25-year-old person that increased her deductible from $2,000 to $2,850 cut her monthly premiums by 17%.   The older you get this might be the only option to go with.

A lot of high-deductible plans are paired with heath savings accounts (HSA's), which allow you to contribute pre-taxed dollars. Both employer and employee can add to the account. Until the deductible is met, any health-care expenses are paid out of the HSA.

2. Shop for Private Insurance

Buying private health insurance on your own instead of a group plan can be cheaper than an employer-sponsored plan. A healthy, 30-year-old male could pay as little as $37 a month with a private policy. That's $250 a year less than the average employee pays for individual coverage. On the other hand, someone with a pre-existing condition might pay upwards of $2,500 a year for private insurance -- five times the cost of the company plan. If you have any pre-existing conditions, always speak to an agent to make sure you will qualify and NEVER cancel a plan without getting approval on another.

Shopping for inexpensive private insurance requires a substantial commitment of both time and effort. Every insurer can set its own requirements within the confines of state regulations. This variation makes for a complex web of options, many of which hinge on the results of a physical exam.

3. Juggle Family Coverage- Compare other options

Spouses need to take a close look at both of their plans to determine which offers the best coverage for the kids. It is important to crunch the numbers to see if you'd be better off with everyone on one plan, or if you should split coverage. If only one spouse is employed, shop around for private insurance too. It may be cheaper to keep one adult on the company plan, and buy a private family plan for the other partner and the children. This is common especially when the Group Health Plan is "Too Rich" in benefits

4. Reassess Employer Options

Nearly 60% of employers offer options for at least two or three plans. It's important to reassess your needs each year, even though one plan may have covered your health-care needs in the past. Some life decisions like starting a family or getting some major dental work may make another plan a much more attractive option in the upcoming year. Here are two factors to consider while weighing your options. Plus each year the carrier will change the benefits of the plan, so you need to read everything carefully to fully understand the changes for the upcoming new year.

Network providers

Health care is increasingly moving toward managed networks of physicians and facilities. Check that you aren't unnecessarily paying a higher premium because your plan allows you a choice of physician. If your doctor is already in network and your lab is already in network, you might not care about having more choices to go out of network.  Some carriers will allow you to choose certain networks to belong to, which will also determine the rates of your plan.  Most people assume the PHCS Network is the best, but it is also the most expensive network in some cases.  Let us help you pick out a network that has your doctors in it, and has an affordable rate.

Benefit range

The more benefits available to you, the more you'll pay. Your premiums reflect as if you're using that benefit every single month. If you're reasonably sure you won't need coverage for immunizations, maternity expenses or orthodontics in the coming year, switching to a plan that requires you to pay more out of pocket for such services (or doesn't cover them at all) could work in your favor.

5. Get Healthy

It may seem obvious that losing weight or quitting smoking will reduce the number of visits to a doctor, but it can also dramatically cut insurance costs. More than 70% of employers currently offer financial incentives to those who participate in company wellness initiatives.  Some private insurance companies will also offer preferred rates over just standard rates if you are health and have had a physical within the last 3 years if you are over 40.  That could be another 15-25%.

6. Coinsurances

Also you can look at taking more responsibility of the plan after you reach your deductible.  Most always assume they want an 80/20 or 75/25, but did you know that you could actually pay MORE with that 80/20 vs 70/30 or even a 50/50 plan in two ways.  Call us today to learn more on this and you will be "SHOCKED"!


Learn how easy and convenient shopping for health insurance can be. Get your free health insurance online quotes today!

 
     
 
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