|Fall 2022 Volume 15, Number 3|
How to Save on Health Insurance
If you’re one of the millions of Americans struggling to pay for the rising cost of health insurance, here are some money saving tips.
Check with Your Employer
If your employer provides health insurance benefits, it might be worthwhile to take a closer look at those options. Depending on the coverage you’re looking for and the amount of savings you want, you might find that your employer-sponsored plan is the best option, especially if they also offer an HRA or FSA account.
Use Tax Credit Subsidies
If you purchase your own health insurance, subsidies such as the Advanced Premium Tax Credit are available to make premiums less expensive. The amount of this subsidy depends on your income and family size. If you qualify, the tax credit will be applied to your monthly premiums, and you’ll be able to pay the discounted rate.
Opt for HMO over PPO
If you can choose between an HMO and a PPO, choosing an HMO can save you money because they have smaller networks of doctors and hospitals. In addition, HMOs often require you to use in-network providers, which can help keep costs down.
Pick a Plan with a High Deductible
Deductibles are the out-of-pocket amounts you must pay before your insurance starts covering medical expenses. A higher deductible means lower monthly premiums but more money upfront. So, if you’re healthy and don’t often visit the doctor or take medication, consider choosing a plan with a higher deductible. However, make sure you have enough saved in case of an unexpected medical emergency.
Don’t Forget About Your HSA
If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you can use these accounts to save money on health insurance costs. With an HSA, you can make tax-deductible contributions (up to $3,650 per year for individuals and $7,300 for families) and use the funds to pay for qualifying medical expenses. With an FSA, your employer sets aside a certain amount of money (up to $2,850 per year) from your paycheck to cover eligible medical expenses.
Check Your Coverage Before Going for Treatment
Before you receive any treatment, it’s always a good idea to check with your insurance company to make sure the procedure or medication is covered. Some treatments may not be fully covered or may require a higher deductible. You can also ask your doctor if any cheaper alternatives are just as effective.
Save on Medication
You can save money on prescription medications by buying generic drugs instead of brand-name ones, as they both contain the same active ingredient. Also, ask if your doctor can prescribe a cheaper alternative drug that has the same effect. Another option is to order from online pharmacies because they might provide discounts for online and bulk purchases.
Take Preventative Measures
You can save on healthcare costs by making sure you get regular checkups and screenings. These tests can detect illnesses early so you can avoid costly treatments down the road. They can also prevent serious conditions like cancer from developing in the first place.