Reduce your healthcare premiums. It may be easier than you realize. There are many low-cost medical plans in Ohio, and the amount of coverage on these policies will surprise you. Lowering your premium is possible, and we provide specific recommendations to help cut your prices. And these tips will save you money every year!
10 Ways To Reduce Your Health Insurance Costs
1. Compare quotes from multiple companies. The longer you have your policy, the more the rate will increase. Every year, you should view prices from our website to insure your premium is still competitive. It’s always possible that a company that was expensive two years ago is now offering much lower rates. And conversely, a company that was not competitive many years ago may offer great deals now. That’s how we help, since we handle the shopping aspect. Shop during Open Enrollment, or any other part of the year for additional options.
2. Consider a Health Savings Account (HSA). Here in Ohio, HSA rates are very low compared to most other states and many of the Marketplace policies are HSA-eligible. You’ll be able to save money, pay for your medical costs with tax-favored dollars, and accumulate money in years where you don’t have a lot of medical claims. And you never lose your accumulated money if you don’t use it. When you reach age 65, although you can’t contribute additional funds, accumulated dollars can be used to pay for qualified out-of-pocket expenses.
3. Don’t pay for coverage that you’re not using. For example, if you are paying for a rider that you won’t be using…get rid of it! Also, if you’re paying for dental and vision benefits and rarely use them, carefully consider the costs and benefits of dropping the coverage, especially if it is duplicated on another plan. Paying for extra life insurance benefits on children is often financially sound, but adult prices are typically high on a healthcare policy. Purchase it through a life company, such as Prudential, New York Life, MetLife, Ohio National, Northwestern, or several other large carriers.
4. Change your major medical deductible. Your premium will reduce by hundreds of dollars per year (perhaps thousands of dollars if you have a large family). A change from $1,000 to $2,500, $5,000, or $7,350 could make a significant difference in your rates. (You can view more deductible information here). And, you usually can go back to the original deductible during designated time, although you may have to wait until the policy anniversary. But yes, there is a risk if you start incurring a lot of big claims. “Bronze” and “Silver” Exchange plans offer the most cost-effective deductibles. Your maximum out-of-pocket expenses must also be considered.
5. Review your bills. A “Network repricing” discount should be applied if you are using providers within your company’s network. Occasionally, this discount is not applied, so it’s worth your time to review your paperwork. The discount can range from 10%-70%, depending on the type of service provided. This is why whenever you are treated, ALWAYS submit the claim before paying any amount other than a copay. This allows the system to apply the reductions. Note: X-rays and lab tests often receive the largest discounts.
6. Maintain good health. One of the biggest factors in determining your rate for non-compliant plans are your height and weight, medications you take, and current and past medical history. Staying healthy won’t secure better rates when shopping for coverage (unless it is short-term coverage), but It will help your life and disability premiums. Keeping a monthly chart of your weight may also help. It may scare you a bit also! Your cost is minimal since qualified preventative expenses are fully covered on compliant plans.
7. Take advantage of “Freebies.” Many of the large Ohio health insurers offer free advice, education and online links that will help you stay fit. Often, discounts are available on products that you may already be using. Contact us for additional specific details on discounts and wellness programs through clubs and YMCAs. Many of them won’t cost anything. You may be able to save money on an existing membership you already pay for. Many Senior plans offer free Silver Sneakers memberships.
8. Email or call us and we’ll be happy to review your current coverage. If there are better options that maintain your existing benefits and lower your premium…we’ll show them to you. If it is advantageous for you to make no changes, we’ll tell you. The Affordable Care Act has changed the dynamics of how you buy a policy and what you get for your money. Medigap options also periodically change. We can help you understand the changes.
9. Consider increasing your coinsurance or copays for covered office visits. Both of these changes will result in lower coverage so it’s important to understand the impact and properly compare that to the money you will save. Consider “Silver” plans if you qualify for a subsidy and “cost-sharing. “Also, review new plan options each year during Open Enrollment. Each year, new methods to reduce healthcare costs are introduced.
10 Compare the cost of office visit charges and prescriptions. Doctors charge different rates and prescription prices can vary between different pharmacies. “Pill-splitting,” if available, with your prescription, may save money. Changing pharmacies or providers may also make a difference. Compare carrier formulary drug lists to ensure you are paying the lowest possible rate.
We are committed to finding our clients the lowest available prices. But we also feel it is just as important to provide quality benefits that will provide the treatment and care that the customer expects to receive.