While it is important to have a health insurance cover, what many people view with trepidation are the premium costs of their health insurance policy. The lower you pay, the lower coverage you receive as the premium costs are non-negotiable. However, there are ways to reduce your costs. So let’s take at six ways to reduce your health insurance costs.
Opt for a higher deductible
A deductible is the amount you will pay out of your pocket before your insurance cover starts. By paying a higher deductible, you will be able to reduce the amount you pay as premium for your health insurance coverage. Some policies offer a voluntary deductible option wherein the customer chooses to pay a part of the medical bills himself before he claims from the insurer, which could be a percentage of the bill amount. Choosing a higher deductible will lower your premium. But you must choose a deductible with great care since a high deductible would leave you with healthcare costs you’ll have to settle on your own.
Use top-ups for higher coverage
Having an adequate cover is important when buying a health plan because of the rising costs. High coverage generally calls for a higher premium as well. In that case, it might be wise to split the required cover and buy a top-up plan alongside. A top-up comes into effect when the base sum assured is exhausted. As such, you would be getting covered for a considerable sum at a much lower cost.
Opt for family floater plans
Once two or more people are covered under the same plan, the cost for health coverage for an individual gets reduced and they come under an umbrella coverage of a floater plan. This is one of the biggest benefits of a family floater plan.
Opt for a multi-year premium payment
Health plans come with discounts if you choose to pay upfront premiums for two or more years instead of the usual one. This reduces the premium quite a bit as well as the policy is in force for at least two years.
Compare plans and buy online
While buying a health insurance plan — or any insurance plan — you must scan the whole marketplace before jumping on the first product your agent or branch manager may suggest to you. By going online, you can access products from multiple insurance providers and compare them all on parameters such as premium costs, riders, coverage, etc. Moreover, you can also buy insurance through online channels, since these products are being sold directly to you by the insurer and do not carry the agent’s fees.
Stay healthy, buy when young
The premium you pay is decided by the state of your health and age as well as medical history. The more the number of ailments in your repertoire — blood pressure, diabetes, recurring health issues, or other pre-existing conditions — the more premium you will have to pay. Buy health insurance when you are young so that you are relatively healthy and disease-free. Your premiums will be lower compared with an older individual with more pre-existing health conditions.
The author is CEO, BankBazaar.com