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- A healthy lifestyle can lead to lower health insurance premiums
- Health insurance premiums are typically higher for smokers
- A savings account can help cover unforeseen medical expenses
There are many ways to lower the cost of health insurance including lifestyle changes, group memberships, or changes in deductible.
The cost of health insurance costs can range from monthly premiums as low as $85 or as high as $200 or more.
The cost of health insurance depends on several factors, but you don’t have to dig out your research books and microscope to examine them.
Some factors are simple to review and change, with changes that may result in a lower health insurance cost.
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What is type of lifestyle do you lead?
The lifestyle you lead plays a part in your overall cost of health insurance. If you maintain a healthy weight, you have a better chance of obtaining a lower health insurance premium.
On the other hand, if you are overweight, smoke, and don’t exercise, you may find it difficult to find affordable coverage.
Smoking can cost you a pretty penny on your health costs.
Health insurance premiums are typically higher for smokers than they are for non-smokers due to the potential health risks involved with the habit.
Stopping smoking may dramatically reduce your health insurance costs. Many insurance carriers ask if you smoke before they agree to insure you.
On the other end of the spectrum, engaging in healthy habits and a healthy lifestyle may lower your health insurance costs.
A big issue is your weight, with the risks of certain diseases and health issues increasing with excess pounds.
Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and following a nutritious eating plan may help ensure no larger health issues arise that can lead to a higher cost of insurance.
Are you part of a group or can you join one?
Two is sometimes better than one when it comes to health insurance plans, with group plans possibly offered at a lower cost than those insuring individuals.
If your workplace does not offer insurance, perhaps you can rally with fellow employees and make a proposal to human resources.
If you and your spouse are both receiving individual coverage, you may be able to cut costs by combining into a joint plan.
Another way to possibly cut costs outside the workplace or marriage is by joining a professional organization.
Perhaps your alumni association, honor society or trade guild offers discounted health insurance rates to their members.
Make sure a group plan really is cheaper than your individual rates would be, as groups are often required to insure everyone, regardless of health issues. This may work against you if you are healthy and young.
What is your deductible like?
You may think you have a great health insurance plan because it has a low deductible and a high co-insurance ratio.
The deductible is the amount of money you have to pay before co-insurance kicks in, with the co-insurance ratio outlining how much the insurance company pays versus how much you pay for services.
A policy with a $5,000 deductible means you have to spend $5,000 on health care costs before the co-insurance kicks in, with the insurance carrier paying 80 percent of your costs compared to your 20 percent.
A policy that offers a low deductible and a high co-insurance ratio may sound nice, but it also typically costs more than one with a higher deductible and lower co-insurance ratio.
If your average health care costs are about $3,000 or less per year, for instance, you may not even meet a $5,000 deductible, which means you may not get into the realm of insurance ratios.
You may be able to switch a generous 80/20 ratio to a less generous 40/60 to save money on your monthly premiums.
If you don’t expect to meet a $5,000 deductible, you are even further away from a $10,000 deductible.
The key to saving money by adjusting your deductible or ratio is to assess your possibility of actually meeting the deductible and benefiting from a generous co-insurance ratio.
There is also always the risk of unforeseen health issues or circumstances from which a lower deductible and higher ratio may benefit.
It’s up to you to weigh the risks and decide which may work out in your favor with lower health insurance costs overall.
Do you stick to the plan?
Most health insurance plans are set up with guidelines that may help you get the most for your money and keep your health insurance costs lower than they could be if you disregarded them.
Guidelines typically include using specific doctors and health care professionals that accept your insurance plan.
Although you may be free to seek health care from doctors that are not in the plan’s network, you may also end up paying a lot more.
Going with generic prescription drugs rather than the name brand drug is another option offered in many health insurance plans.
This option may save incredible amounts of money if the generic is priced at $15 and the name brand at $115 for a medication you need on a regular basis.
Keeping an eye on other details regarding what your plan covers may also save you health care costs.
For example, some plans may pay part or in full for smoking cessation programs, workout facilities or other services to improve your health.
Taking advantage of such offers may save you money by potentially improving your health and by helping to pay for a service you may already be looking for
Review your plan frequently to make sure you still want or need the same amount of coverage you currently have.
Use our FREE tool to compare plans and find affordable health insurance quotes online!
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