They say that money means nothing if you don’t have your health–but that’s doesn’t mean you can’t have both. Surely, there must be a way to protect your health and save yourself some cash. After all, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to have your triple layer strawberry shortcake and eat it too.
Go ahead. Dig in. What good is having a cake if you can’t eat it?
Good news! There are several ways to cut down on your health insurance expenses without sacrificing the care that you receive.
Never settle for the first plan you find. Or even the second or third. Doing your research can save you money and prevent you from being saddled with health insurance coverage that doesn’t meet your needs.
Do you have insurance through your employer? Good for you. While this is a highly coveted perk, you may still be able to save yourself money by opting for a private insurance plan. The odds are that your employer has had to reduce their expenditures–which means they may have offloaded some of their health care costs on to their employees.
Before embarking on your hunt for the best plan, be sure that you have calculated how much your family spends on regular trips to the doctor’s office, prescription drugs, diagnostic testing, and dental work each year. By adding those expenses to your co-pay figures or deductible amounts, plus your premiums, you should be able to compare each plan more accurately.
If your brood are as healthy as a herd of horses, you may benefit from switching to a High Deductible plan. If you only require a doctor’s visit a couple of times a year, you could save a fortune on your premiums. On the other hand, if you or a covered family member suffers from a chronic ailment, you may be better to stick with a plan that affords you a lower deductible. Also, if someone in your fit flock does fall ill and you have opted for the high deductible option, you will need to have a sufficient amount of cash on hand to cover your portion of their required medical expenses.
“Saving on Individual Health Insurance“ recommends also revisiting your co-pay as “while it sounds good to pay only $10 per office visit instead of the customary $50, you are not saving anything if you are not frequenting the doctor.”
No, this is not an attack on the trustworthiness of people named “William.” Rather, it is a call to double-check your medical bills for costly errors. According to the Medical Billing Advocates of America, “over 80% of medical bills contain errors, whether from erroneous charges, double billings, or, in some cases, abusive charging practices.” Never take your bill at face value or you could be paying way too much for your deductible, co-pay, and uninsurable expenses.
It is important to keep on top of changes to your health insurance network members and preferred providers. After all, one of your favorite physicians or specialists may have dropped out of your plan without you knowing–which could result in costing you a wad of cash. We’ve all heard what can happen when you “assume.”
Sometimes you can get a discount on your health insurance rates simply by belonging to the right organization. Parents magazine’s “25 Ways to Save Money on Healthcare” recommends joining your state farm bureau, particularly if you are self-employed. You will need to pay a membership fee, but, depending on your state, you could receive a healthy discount. No farm required.
It just goes to prove that you do not have to choose between your health care and your bank account. You can protect both. So, grab that fork and have a mouthful–or twenty–of that delicious cake filled with strawberry goodness.
What other ways would you recommend for saving money on a health insurance plan?
Kimberley Laws is a regular contributor to HowDoYou.com and the author of two blogs, The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss. A "Jill of all trades," she is a High School English Teacher and Certified Career Counselor with a background in makeup artistry, retail banking, and graphic design. She is also a scrapbooking, PEZ-collecting, car enthusiast who loves travelling and New York City.
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