Can I Reduce my Premiums Without Reducing Coverage?
Most single adults and parents who purchase health insurance are eager to find ways to reduce their premiums. Health insurance premiums can consume a sizable percentage of a household budget, and lowering these costs can free up room for other important expenses. In addition to reducing your premiums, consider how you might reduce other medical expenses, like the cost of prescriptions, choosing certain doctors, dental or vision care. If your goal is to save money on health care, look at ways to lower your overall costs as well as your monthly premiums.
Evaluating Benefits and Coverage
Reducing premiums doesn't necessarily mean that you have to give up the benefits you need or reduce your coverage. If your current monthly premiums seem too high, you may be able to lower your monthly costs without giving up coverage by increasing your deductible. High deductible health plans generally have lower premiums, so you can trim your monthly expenses by paying for a higher share of the specific medical services you receive.
With a high deductible plan, you must contribute a specific amount of money, such as $1,000, $2,000 or $5,000, to your annual medical expenses before your coverage kicks in. After you've reached the deductible, your insurer will pay for a certain percentage of your medical costs. For instance, your provider might pay for 80 percent of your expenses after you've met the deductible, while you'll be responsible for 20 percent. In addition, you will generally be charged a low monthly premium.
You may be able to reduce your premiums without paying a higher deductible by comparing quotes from other insurance companies. Getting the most affordable premiums is sometimes a matter of shopping around to find a provider that offers comprehensive benefits at a lower rate. The health insurance industry is competitive, and with so many plans on the market, you may be able to find a more affordable policy by evaluating quotes online.
If you have high premiums because of a pre-existing condition, consider switching to a provider with a more liberal underwriting policy. Insurers may vary in the rates they charge for members with pre-existing medical conditions. Try applying for coverage from another insurance company to see if you might get lower rates or a more flexible exclusion period for your coverage.
Lowering Overall Medical Costs
In addition to lowering your premiums, you can save money by investing in inexpensive dental and vision insurance plans. Adding dental and optical coverage to your policy may raise your monthly costs, but if you or a family member needs dental work, glasses or contact lenses, having this coverage available can be a lifesaver financially. Instead of paying for X rays, fillings, extractions or eye wear out of pocket, paying for a combined dental and vision plan can be well worth a few extra dollars.
If you take medications as part of your regular health care regime, you can save money with a prescription drug plan. Look for a plan that offers a discounted mail order prescription plan. Before you buy a prescription plan, check the provider's formulary to make sure your medications are covered.
You can reduce the cost of health insurance by seeing practitioners who participate in your provider's network. With many insurance plans, seeing doctors and using clinics or hospitals inside the company's network can save you a lot of money. Some plans will not cover any part of a claim if you see an out of network provider. To lower your medical care cost without reducing your coverage, combine a number of money saving strategies.
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