Are you facing trouble in reducing your health insurance costs? Well, this issue is particularly common. On average, American families pay at least $5500 in insurance premiums. If you consider the out-of-pocket costs, they can add up to a massive $12,500. Although the costs associated with health insurance are massive, the necessity of health insurance is immense. Hence, it is essential to choose the right plan and understand the several ways to lower the costs associated with insurance. Here are some tips to save money on health insurance costs.
Explore the insurance options at your workplace
It is important to explore the options offered at your workplace. These usually vary depending on whether your workplace is offering insurance benefits or you’re seeking individual plans. If your employer offers health insurance benefits, the employer partially bears the premium cost.
Moreover, you will be able to save tax on your premium contribution. Lastly, your employer takes responsibility for choosing the insurance plan for you. However, if you’re seeking individual plans, it’s good to partner up with an insurance agent who can help you find the best plan according to your needs.
Learn How Different Plans Work
Health insurance plans are usually broken down into two parts:
Those sponsored by the employer,
Marketplace health plans.
Employer-sponsored plans usually fall in one of the three network categories, including preferred provider organizations (PPOs), health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and point of service (POS) plans. There are even high deductible health plans (HDHP) with a Health Saving Account (HSA) feature, allowing you to benefit from tax-free savings.
These plans differ in terms of the provider network. For example, you usually have a wide range of doctors to see in a PPO plan rather than an HMO plan. Similarly, high deductible health plans are usually the least expensive since low monthly premiums.
In contrast, you should also know about the plans offered outside of your workplace by the Marketplace. These plans are categorized within metal tiers, including bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Usually, a bronze plan has the lowest premium with high out-of-pocket costs. This trend reverses as you jump to a higher metal tier.
Use a Health Savings Account (HSA)
An HSA allows you to contribute money to a specific tax-free saving account which you can specifically use for health care expenses. Here are some features of an HSA account:
Zero tax contributions
HDHP plans have the lowest premiums
Your contributions roll year-to-year
HSA funds can grow tax-free over the years
It can allow you to withdraw money for medical expenses.
Asides from tax-free contributions and withdrawals, you can also receive a tax deduction. However, you need to have a high deductible health plan to open an HSA account.
Stay Within Your Plan Network
You can generally save money by seeing doctors that are a part of your network. The in-network providers are even eager to provide discounts and lower costs, so that’s a plus. However, if you wish to see specialists outside your plan network, the coverage depends upon your plan type.
If you’re on an HMO plan, you’ll get zero coverage. On the other hand, a PPO or POS plan can provide certain coverage for out-of-network treatment. Therefore, it’s advisable to stay within the network and benefit from lower costs.
To ensure whether a certain hospital is within your network, you can always ring up the customer service number of your insurance company. In some cases, you can face over-billing with your insurance payments. But don’t worry.
Just contact your provider, and if your case is legitimate, you’ll get your reimbursements. Here are some best health insurance companies for your convenience.
Seek Help from An Insurance Professional
It is always to seek expert advice. After all, an insurance broker knows the ins and out of the industry, and they can help you find a suitable plan. Here’s how an insurance professional can help you out:
Compare various health plans
Show how different payment options affect the overall cost
Navigate you through tax-free options and help analyze whether they fit you.
An insurance broker will always work in your best interests.
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