Health insurance is one of the best gifts we can give to our family. It might come with a cost, but it is actually a lifesaver in emergency situations. It acts as a backup plan too. However, with a drawback of huge investments required, health insurance most of the times faces a downfall in terms of takers. And now that the premiums have also increased, it has become more difficult to afford a health policy.
But you should be smart enough to pick a plan that fulfils your needs and at the same time doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. There are few a tricks to master this art. Today, we will talk about some of these tricks so that you could easily implement them and thus have the best of both worlds.
Health insurance premiums are a major factor that increases the costs of the plan. According to health insurance agents, a large increase in premiums was recorded in 2016. Here is a graph representing the rise in the premium in the previous years:
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As stated above, health insurance premiums are expected to increase by 5% in 2017 for employees once they have put through plan design updates for the new year, according to a recent study from the National Business Group on Health.
Have a look at the bar graph showcasing how specialty pharmacy costs, high-cost claimants and overall medical inflation are among the top drivers for rising health insurance premiums.
These facts and data clearly point out to the fact that health insurance premiums aren’t easy to pay off. As a huge amount of money goes into it, there remains less to spend otherwise at the end of the day. Also, employers are looking for new ways to reduce the costs for the betterment of both parties involved. However, one always has options to seek.
Here are the 5 easiest ways that can reduce your health insurance costs without any hassle.
Consult your doctor
Self care is one of the best methods to reduce the risks of health hazards. One cannot stress this fact enough as it requires a lot more determination than said. Always make your family visit the doctor for an annual physical check-up to be sure of your overall health. Know your necessary vaccinations (like hepatitis A and B, and tetanus) and perform recommended screenings and tests depending on factors such as age, gender, and health status. Many companies give medical allowances to employees and their family.
Understand your Plan
One should know their deductible or any co-pays for which they can responsible at later stages of the policy. It will help you prepare for upcoming expenses and not give a shock. Even though the policy terms are full of jargons, one should try to at least clear out terms or ask for help from the insurance providers.
Some companies also offer counsellors who can properly guide you through the policy. There are also several websites that can help you understand the terms and healthcare costs and let you know what needs to be actually paid. One can try to negotiate with the policy provider or get it customised according to the need of the hour too.
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Calculate and Plan your Cost
One should not totally depend on the health insurance alone. After calculating the pros and cons of the plan, an individual should calculate the actual cost one can incur in emergency situations. Keeping in mind factors like inflation, taxes and your personal goals, one should choose a plan that will fit the bill in the future too. If you are planning to start a family, the health insurance should have an option for the same too. If the plan is for elderly people above 50, one should keep in mind the senior citizen terms of the policy too. A clear transparency of not just the plan but the future of the plan itself is always important before buying it.
The common saying, if you don’t ask, the answer remains a No, holds very true in this space. One should always ask for alternatives. The insurance companies always have options in terms of hospitals, doctors and other facilities. Before deciding down on a policy, it is good to ask for low-cost options that you may avail in the same plan. One doesn’t always require a high-level emergency room. Therefore, you can opt for a lower level room and thus reduce your cost. Similarly, asking for extra discounts is another way to boost your policy at lower cost.
There are always loads of special offers running in the marketplace. One should keep an eye on them and inquire about the same. Pick the one that suits your needs. These offer features that help in cutting the regular health costs. Some insurance providers do cut the bill by a certain percentage if you pay by cash.
The above mentioned points about saving costs on health insurance are some of the best ways to minimize insurance costs. An individual should always be aware of the many options available in the insurance market. With the rising need of health insurances and growing awareness, the supply has also gone up in terms of insurance players and plans. Catering to the needs of an individual, the plans and premiums differ on a particular pre-defined scale. So, keep your eyes wide open and look out for these options to cut your insurance costs.
(The author is CEO & Founder, PolicyX.com)