Health insurance

10 ways to save on your health insurance • Benzinga

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Everyone knows how expensive health insurance is these days. However, when it comes to paying for your health insurance, there are ways to cut costs and make it more affordable. Let Benzinga show you some of the many ways you can make health insurance cheaper while meeting your needs. You might be surprised at how simple some of these methods are and wonder why you haven’t thought of them yourself.

Where does your health insurance come from?

Your health insurance can come from a variety of sources. According to the 2020 Census, Americans today get their health insurance coverage from:

  1. Their employer: Most Americans get their health insurance through their employer. In fact, as many as 54% of all health insurance plans are employer sponsored.
  2. Private plans: Private plans like Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) and Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) along with the market, account for 66% of all health insurance plans. Compare that to public coverage, which is only 34%.
  3. Health Insurance : Medicare beneficiaries represent 18% of all people covered by health insurance.
  4. Medicaid: Medicaid covers 17% of all health insurance beneficiaries in the United States.
  5. Veterans Health Administration: Health insurance through the VA, including the Veterans Affairs Medical and Civilian Health Program (CHAMPVA), comprises only 1% of all beneficiaries.

The 2020 census shows that 8.6% of Americans have no health insurance.

10 ways to save on your health insurance

If you’re paying too much for your health insurance, there are ways to cut your costs. Health insurance doesn’t come in a one-size-fits-all package, and there are plenty of ways to save money.

1. Adjust your deductible

If you’ve ever used your health insurance for more than just a doctor’s visit or procedure, you know there’s a deductible. Your health insurance deductible can range from $500 to $5,000, and it does not apply per use, but on an annual basis. However, did you know that you can increase or decrease your monthly premiums by adjusting the amount of your deductible? The higher your deductible, the lower your premiums. Indeed, by increasing your deductible, you take a larger stake when making a claim. If you don’t plan to use your health insurance for much more than doctor visits and prescription drugs, you can save money on your health insurance by increasing your annual deductibles.

2. Trim the bold from your font

Believe it or not, millions of policyholders are paying for coverage they will never use. You could be one of those people. Have you read your policy correctly? Maybe you have coverage for procedures you’ll never use, like maternity care when you don’t plan to have children. A good health insurance policy meets your individual needs. Make sure you’re not paying for services you’ll never use or overpaying for ones you might use. Just like buying a car, play with all the knobs and buttons. Take it for a test drive. Make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for.

3. Take advantage of health insurance tax credits

The Affordable Health Care Act, enacted in 2010, allows you to take advantage of significant tax credits when it comes to making your health insurance more affordable. If you’re paying too much for health insurance, Healthcare.gov and Marketplace’s premium tax credit helps. A health insurance tax credit can make your health insurance more affordable by reducing your monthly premiums. If you qualify, the Marketplace sends your tax credit directly to the insurance company, which lowers your monthly premiums. This is called a premium tax credit prepayment.

4. Choose HMO, not PPO

If you have expensive PPO coverage that lets you see any doctor you want, you probably aren’t worried about lowering your healthcare costs. If you have an HMO policy, however, you’ll find it much cheaper to stay within your network. Nationally, HMOs cost an average of $427 per month in premiums, compared to $517 for a PPO. On top of that, HMOs typically don’t have a deductible and often don’t have a co-pay for your primary care doctor’s visit. Many HMOs also do not charge coinsurance.

5. Use a health savings account

A health savings account is much like a regular savings account, only the money saved is used to cover your health costs. You own the money in the account, not your employer or the insurance company. The best part is that the money in your health savings account isn’t taxed. However, you can’t just open a savings account and call it a health savings account. To be eligible, you must have a high-deductible health insurance plan. Health savings accounts are often used to pay the highest deductibles. The best part of the Health Savings Account is that you decide how much you want to save and how much you want to spend.

6. Make healthier choices

The healthier you are, the more affordable your health insurance will be. Although insurance, by its nature, spreads the costs across society, premiums for a non-smoker will be lower than those for a smoker. If you’re in good health and don’t expect to use your health insurance as much, you can even opt for a higher deductible and lower your monthly premiums. You can even choose a catastrophic plan, just in case something happens to you.

7. Take advantage of free resources

If health insurance costs are preventing you from getting the health care coverage you need, make good use of all the free resources available. Some of these include community or county clinics and sometimes private charity clinics. While some are free to those who qualify, others require only a small out-of-pocket expense for the patient. Many of them offer free annual medical exams as well as mammograms and birth control for women.

8. Use prescription drug savings programs

You don’t need to have health insurance to save money on your prescription drugs. Private prescription drug plans like GoodRx and SIngleCare offer discounts on prescription drugs sometimes up to 80%. In fact, people on prescription drug plans often use these discounted services when their plan doesn’t cover a specific type of drug. Discount programs like GoodRx are accepted at over 70,000 pharmacies nationwide and are easy to use. Most even have mobile apps.

9. Apply for Medicaid

If all else fails and you just can’t afford health insurance, there’s always Medicaid, a state-administered federal health insurance program. Medicaid is not a health system but rather a health insurance that allows you to choose among doctors in the Medicaid network. To qualify for Medicaid, you must have extremely low or no income. Children are often eligible for slightly higher income levels.

10. Shop

Last but not least, shop around. Do your due diligence and get as many quotes as possible. There are great websites like Policygenius that do the price comparisons for you. Find out exactly what type of health insurance suits your needs, learn about deductibles, coinsurance and copayments, and the most affordable policy that’s right for you. There is never a downside to having as much knowledge as possible when it comes to choosing the right health insurance coverage.

Compare health insurance

Comparing health insurance policies can be like comparing apples and oranges. There are so many different features and costs that you sometimes don’t know which way to go. Benzinga has put together some great choices to help you decide exactly which health insurance is right for you.

Get more information about health insurance

Choosing the right health insurance is not easy. There are many factors to consider, such as cost, choice of doctors, and prescription drug plans. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. Let the health insurance experts at Benzinga guide you with their wide range of health articles and educational tools.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is health insurance so expensive?

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Why is health insurance so expensive?

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Philip Loyd, Licensed Insurance Agent

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The most important factor when it comes to health insurance cost is the price of medical care. In fact, medical care costs account for 90% of all healthcare expenditure. As the population increases and new medical technologies evolve, the cost of health insurance increases, even if you are not an elderly person and do not have a chronic illness. Increasing life expectancies and adding millions more people to the health insurance rolls have only increased costs.

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How do I choose the right health insurance coverage for me?

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How do I choose the right health insurance coverage for me?

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Philip Loyd, Licensed Insurance Agent

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Choosing the right health insurance policy consists of many factors. It must not only be adapted to your health problems, but also to your budget. For people who don’t care about cost as much as quality of care, a PPO is often the right choice. PPOs offer greater flexibility and a wider choice of doctor. If cost is the determining factor in your decision, HMOs may be a perfect fit for your needs. Although you have to choose between doctors under the HMO network plan, many of them are good doctors and many HMO policyholders are happy with their health insurance.

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