The cost of medical care continues to increase at a rapid pace. Learning how to manage your out-of-pocket healthcare costs is essential. One of the most significant expenses associated with healthcare is your health insurance premium.
You cannot control when you may require medical care. However, you do have choices when it comes to the type of health insurance plan you purchase. Keeping your health insurance affordable is possible by following the tips below.
Shop around – Health insurance plans are constantly changing. As insurance companies evaluate each plan’s profitability, they adjust their premiums accordingly. This means the most affordable plan today may become the most expensive comparable option next year.
Consider an HMO – In an HMO, you are assigned a primary care physician who coordinates your care. Unlike a PPO where you may see any physician within the network, referrals are required to see a specialist in an HMO. This is how an HMO can reduce the cost of healthcare and monthly premiums.
Use a Health Savings Account – Also known as an HSA, these accounts allow you to deposit, grow, and withdraw money tax-free. HSA accounts can only be used with a high-deductible health plan which offers lower premiums.
Select a Higher Deductible and Coinsurance – The more you pay for your own care in the form of deductibles or coinsurance, the lower your premiums will be. This strategy commonly makes sense for individuals or families who do not expect to receive more than routine care throughout the year.
Your health insurance premiums are just one part of the total cost of healthcare. So one of the most critical steps to keep your health insurance affordable is to review your health insurance needs at every renewal opportunity.
As your needs change, so too should your health plan. Sometimes, a plan with fewer benefits will make more sense and lower your premium. But, conversely, there may be years when a more benefit-rich plan will save you money in the long run.
Working with an independent and licensed health insurance agent can help you shop the insurance marketplace and choose the best plan for your needs and budget.