Health insurance is certainly in the news these days, but it’s hardly new news. Health care prices are going up and have been for a while, and it’s yet to be determined what exactly is going to happen as we get closer to the full implantation of the government’s new plan for health care in the United States. In the meantime, however, there are easy ways to reduce your costs for health insurance, especially if you are reasonably healthy and frustrated paying high premiums for insurance.
Shop Around for Insurance
Right now you may have insurance through your job, and it might be excellent insurance. Or it may not. If you’re healthy, relatively young and not seeking anything outside of basic healthcare, you may not need to be paying for the Cadillac of healthcare. It doesn’t cost you a thing to go online and search to see what other plans cost.
You may be surprised to see that you can actually pay less for your children with a separate plan or with an insurance plan totally separate from your job. You’ll never know until you look.
Use a Health Savings Account
A health savings account, or an HAS, is relatively new to the market if you haven’t shopped for insurance in a while, but it’s an excellent strategy for saving money. If you’re on a low-deductible plan right now you may be paying (for an example) $300 per month for health insurance. If you switch to a high deductible plan, your premium goes down to (again – just an example) $100 per month. That’s a savings of $200…until you go to the doctor.
With a high deductible plan you save on premiums, but wind up paying out of pocket for the first $2500 of health care every year – excluding preventative services usually. But you can still save money while protecting yourself against those costs. How often do you go to the doctor? If it’s only a handful of times each year, you normally wouldn’t pay more than $200 for the visit under a high-deductible plan.
Right now, in our example, you’re paying $300 twelve times per year to avoid paying $200 three times per year – plus uncertainty, of course. Instead of putting that extra $200 toward your deductible every month, move it into an HAS coupled with the high deductible plan. Your health care costs are paid at the doctor from your account when you need to go, and the rest of the money is saved up for a big visit should you have an unforeseen emergency or illness in the future.
Deduct Medical Expenses
If you’ve spent a lot of money at the doctor this year and on prescriptions, you can at least recoup some of those costs by deducting them from your taxes every year. If you’ve spent more than 7.5 percent of your income and it hasn’t been reimbursed by your insurance, you’re eligible to deduct those expenses on your taxes. This may wind up saving you a tiny bit or even thousands every year.
Rebecca Garland is working hard to populate the internet with relevant, engaging materials. She writes for many clients including 2healthinsurance.net and enjoys a wide range of topics including home improvement and real estate. You can learn more about Rebecca on her professional site.