1. Raise Your Annual Deductible – Most health insurance companies today offer plans which include an annual deductible.  This is an amount you need to pay prior to the insurance company paying for medical treatment.  So as to not discourage unwise medical behavior, many annual deductibles do not include preventative medical treatment like an annual physical.  BE CAREFUL: Annual deductibles can apply to your entire family or each individual on the plan.  Large annual deductibles for each member of your household can add up very fast.

 

annual physicals save on health insurance

5. Get an annual physical

2. Shop Around – Every health insurance company bases their rates with different emphasis on varying factors.  For this reason, one insurance company is not likely to have the cheapest price for everyone.  The only way to find the most appropriate company for yourself is to speak with as many insurers as possible.  Try Quote Assistant to identify the most popular health insurance companies in your region and give them a call directly through the website.  BE CAREFUL: Quote Assistant makes getting in contact with insurers so easy, you might wind up with many options to choose from. The thousands of dollars you can save will make it worthwhile.

3. Compare Your Spouse’s Options Annually – If your family is in the fortunate circumstance of being able to choose from two employer provided health insurance plans, make sure to take time annually to decide which offers the most coverage.  Don’t assume one insurance plan provides more comprehensive coverage this year because they have in the past.  To save on expenses, many employers are scaling back on the coverage they provide to employees.  You might even consider purchasing coverage from both options.

4. Quit Smoking – Easier said than done right?  If you’re considering quitting, consider reaching out to your health insurance company first.  In addition to finding out how much money you’ll save, many health insurance companies offer support or plans to help you quit smoking.  It’s not easy, but more and more Americans are successfully quitting every day!

5. Get an Annual Physical – Since early detection is often the best prevention with any disease, many insurance companies offer incentives for getting an annual physical.  Many others cover preventative healthcare like an annual physical at 100%.  Even if you’re in perfect health, getting an annual physical will only reinforce your healthy lifestyle and decisions.

 

losing weight reduces medical expenses

10. Lose Weight

6. Join Health Programs Offered Through Your Carrier – Over the years, health insurers have found the best way to save money is to keep their customers healthy.  For this reason many are embracing the prevention mindset by offering clients various programs toward healthier lifestyles.  Pay close attention to the details of your annual health insurance plan and you might find certain financial incentives for joining a weight loss, healthy eating, or exercise plan.

7. Use Higher Deductibles With a Health Savings Account (HSA) – A health savings account is a special feature available with most employer provided health insurance plans.  It allows you to set aside a certain amount of money for the year to be spent only on health related expenses.  The advantage is that this money is not taxed by the government.  Many people are coupling a high annual deductible with the same amount of money set aside in a HSA. BE CAREFUL: In most cases, money set aside for a HSA needs to be used within the year so if it does not get spent on medical expenses, it is lost forever.

8. Separate or Join Policies in Your Home – Many people assume having the entire family under one plan is the cheapest option and this is not always the case.  In certain situations, for example one high-risk individual with many low-risk individuals, it may make sense to purchase more than one plan for the entire family.  The converse may also be true; combining currently separate health insurance plans may also yield the highest savings.  It’s best to speak with a licensed professional in your state when making decisions like this.

 

cobra insurance alternatives

11. Consider COBRA alternatives.

9. Look Into State-Sponsored Options – Depending on your situation, there may be many different options available to you.  In almost every situation where there is no private healthcare available, children under the age of 18 can be covered under a special type of government sponsored healthcare.

10. Lose Weight – It’s true, many health insurance plans charge more premium for clients who are over their preferred weight class.  Weight can even be a reason to be denied health insurance from certain carriers.  In addition to saving money, maintaining an ideal weight will keep you away from the doctor more often and save time, money, aggravation, and frustrations in that facet.

11. Consider COBRA Alternatives – While COBRA is often a good deal for individuals who recently left their job and lost their health insurance, it’s not always the best option.  There may be government options available for you, Google your state department of insurance to do more research. You may consider going to the private market, the easiest way to get in contact with the most popular health insurers near you is through Quote Assistant, if you have an iPhone or Android device.

12. Raise Your Co-pay Amounts – Co-pays are different than deductibles.  While a deductible is a set amount you must pay before the insurance company steps in to pay, a co-pay is a percentage of treatment cost you are responsible for with each treatment.  Obviously accepting more responsibility for the costs incurred with each medical appointment will lower your insurance costs.  BE CAREFUL: While high co-pay amounts may seem like a wise choice to reduce insurance costs, make sure your plan has some limit to out-of-pocket expenses you can afford.

13. Reassess Options Annually – Even if you are staying with the same insurance company your employer has provided year after year, many options available to you can change year after year.  It is a very wise investment of time to carefully understand your insurance each year to ensure it’s proper utilization throughout the coming year.

 

medical insurance paperwork

14. Keep accurate medical records

14. Keep Accurate Medical Records – In certain cases, failure to provide accurate medical records for yourself may result in your health insurance company being unaware how insignificant your prior treatment may have been.  Because of this they may raise your premiums or even fail to write your policy.  Especially if you have successfully treated and overcome any type of illness, it’s important to keep records indicating such.

15. Consider Enrolling in the Medicare D Prescription Plan – Even with Medicare provided by the government, the costs of prescriptions can be excessive.  For more information in your state check out this link.

16. Change Your Lifestyle – Of course losing weight and quitting smoking will make you healthier and can save on health insurance, but so can many other elements of your lifestyle like alcohol consumption, risky sports like skydiving and hang gliding, and even your eating habits.

17. Maintain Constant Coverage – Gaps in insurance coverage make insurance companies very hesitant because they don’t know if you may have incurred any illnesses or injuries during the period of no insurance.  If you lose your coverage, seek out other options like COBRA or private health insurance and prevent yourself from losing coverage for even one day.

18. Join a Chamber of Commerce – If you’re without a job and looking for insurance from an independent health insurer, you may be better able to find a group plan option by joining a chamber of commerce.  Of course, you’ll have to start your own business, but there are a number of different side-businesses you can start with little or no capital investment.

 

medical insurance flexibility with options

19. Be Less Flexible

19. Be Less Flexible – Your current health insurance plan may be charging your extra based on the flexibility of your provider options.  Generally, the more specific a health insurance company’s treatment provider options, the easier it is for them to manage expenses and that savings can be passed on to the consumer.  BE CAREFUL: Before switching to an insurance plan that limits your provider options, make sure you would be satisfied with the options available.

20. Consider the Big Picture – Any time you’re shopping for insurance it can be tempting to look for the cheapest possible premium and buy it.  Insurance is like many things in life, the less you pay, the less you get.  Always take the time to make sure anything you’re passing up to save on health insurance costs will not turn around to bite you throughout the year with expenses.

21. Join The Farm Bureau – It might be a stretch, but if you may be able to find insurance coverage by becoming a member of your state’s farm bureau.  You don’t need to be a farmer, and can often join by paying an annual membership of under $100.  Being a member of your regional farm bureau can provide discounted group health insurance depending on your location.  Click here to learn more.

22. Look Into Private Insurance – Just because your employer provides health insurance benefits, doesn’t mean it’s the best option 100% of the time.  In general, group plans provided by an employer will offer the best benefits and prices, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth researching.  If you can find a better option through the private health insurance market, see if your employer will give you directly some of the money they would have paid into your health insurance.

 

insurance costs by state

25. Relocate

23. Get Student Health Insurance – Being a student at a university can often open up options for health insurance that would be unavailable to you as an individual.  The number of credits required may differ depending on your location and university, but if you currently don’t have insurance it may be worth reaching out to your student services department.

24. Adjust Your Prescription Coverage – There are often options available with how your prescriptions are covered that will allow you to save money.  Some plans offer discounts for ordering your prescriptions in bulk online.  This also saves you the hassle of going to the pharmacy.  You may also consider purchasing a separate prescription plan to supplement your current insurance if you have very high prescription costs.

25. Relocate – Perhaps impractical for most, but moving to regions of the country with less expensive medical costs can certainly reduce your costs for coverage.  Compare medical costs of two different cities here.

26. Use Quote Assistant – Quote Assistant makes it so easy to get in contact with the top health insurance companies near you.  With your iPhone or Android device, just go to http://www.QuoteAss.com or learn more about how it works at http://www.QuoteAssistant.comBE CAREFUL: Quote Assistant makes health insurance shopping so easy, you’ll need to find another way to spend your entire weekend besides shopping health insurance companies.

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