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6 Tips for Keeping Your Health Insurance Costs Affordable

Saving money on the cost of healthcare is always an added benefit that can enhance your budget (and your savings), regardless of whether you're looking to buy a brand-new policy during open enrollment in the Healthcare Marketplace or are relatively content with your current plan. But you can spend more than you expected on premiums, hospital stays, or even a brief visit to your doctor.

Regardless of where you are in the game, if you're wanting to cut costs on health insurance, you've come to the perfect place. We have put together a list of health insurance tips that will enable you to cut costs without sacrificing the standard of your coverage. When looking for the best plan for you or your family, it's always crucial to exercise due diligence. These suggestions can help you get the most out of your plan.

1. Take a wider view than only the premium

It can be tempting to just choose the health insurance option with the cheapest premium while trying to save money on medical expenses. A cheap premium, or the monthly cost of your insurance plan, will almost certainly have a higher deductible attached to it. A deductible is an annual sum you must pay out of pocket for medical expenses before your insurance begins to pay for your expenses.

So, which is better—a lower deductible or a cheaper premium? In actuality, everything depends. Going with a cheaper premium can be preferable if you don't anticipate needing to visit the doctor frequently throughout the year. Please be aware that, should the unexpected occur, you may subsequently be required to begin making payments toward your increased deductible and may not have anticipated these additional expenditures. A lower deductible, however, would be the better option if you have ongoing medical conditions or a family to support. Making sure you fully comprehend the conditions of the coverage, what it delivers, and whether it's likely to save you money or end up costing you more, in the long run is crucial.

2. Examine the Potential for Power in Numbers

To find out if your employer's group-based insurance benefits program is a good fit for you, speak with someone in HR and do some research. Although not all of these plans are the same, they frequently offer good savings opportunities. There are many good group insurance plans, though not all of them are, so you should be certain of all the details before enrolling.

Pre-existing condition coverage is increased, costs are reduced, and overall benefits are better with some group insurance policies. By dividing the expense of risk among numerous employees, these programs enable an insurance firm to maintain lower costs. Numerous organizations want top-notch healthcare programs that they can afford to contribute to, as this is advantageous to both sides.

3. Make Use of Health Benefits

To offer discounts and incentive programs, certain health insurance companies work with activity trackers like Fitbit. Your likelihood of using your insurance decreases as you get healthy. This gives your insurer an incentive to do everything in its power to support your efforts to get and stay in shape. Take a look at the different benefits that your insurance can provide, such as a discounted gym membership, discounts on exercise equipment, and incentives for remaining active.  

4. Request an additional opinion on medical billing

When you don't fully comprehend what you're being charged for or why it seems to cost so much, it's especially easy to become overwhelmed by medical expenses. If you've ever thought that your bill had mistakes on it, you're not alone, and you might not have been mistaken. However, even if the invoicing is accurate, you can occasionally find discounts by questioning your insurance about the price.

Consider using a medical billing advocacy service if you ever find yourself in this predicament. To assist patients with these kinds of problems, services like CoPatient and a few others are available. They typically receive a percentage of the savings they can make you, which gives them additional motivation to fight for you when dealing with your insurance company or doctor's office.

5. Pick Your Medical Expenses Carefully

Without a doubt, you should never refuse to comply with a test or procedure that your doctor deems absolutely necessary in order to save a little money. Having said that, your insurance provider won't be hesitant to inquire as to whether it truly is medically necessary.

You don't want to receive a medical bill as a surprise that your insurance company won't pay for since the surgery or test wasn't actually necessary in the first place. You might be able to avoid some charging by requesting that your doctor truly focus on the essentials, at least in the early phases of a diagnosis.

6. Make use of a Health Savings Account

If you haven't looked into the benefits of a health savings account (HSA), now could be a good time to start. A Health Savings Account (HSA) is essentially a savings account that you can load with tax-advantaged funds to cover certain medical costs.

The only requirement to be eligible for an HSA is having a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with a deductible of at least $1,350. A high-deductible plan might not be the best option for your current living situation, but it does have the advantage of lowering your premium when your deductible increases.

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