Health insurance is important, but health insurance premiums can be a real financial pain.
If you’re looking for ways to lower your health insurance premiums, here are some ideas.
For a smart financial plan, you should consider the total cost of your health care strategies, not just your premium payments.
Increasing your out-of-pocket costs will usually lower your premiums, and it’s up to you to determine whether or not that’s a responsible strategy.
5 Ways to Lower Your Health Insurance Payment
1: Stop Smoking
Smoking is incredibly detrimental to your health, and since you’re so much more likely to suffer serious illness as a smoker, it’s far more expensive to purchase health insurance.
Of course, quitting smoking isn’t easy.
However, it’s not just your wallet that will benefit when you quit.
When you stop smoking, your blood pressure normalizes, your risk of heart trouble drops dramatically, your senses of smell and taste improve, you’ll breath easier, and you’re likely to live about 10 years longer.
2: Choose a Higher Deductible
If you’re in excellent health and rarely need medical treatment, you might opt for a higher deductible so that you can get a lower premium.
Health insurance is meant to be there in case of emergency, so keep in mind that you’ll have to pay more for things like emergency care before your insurance applies.
To offset the risk of a higher deductible, consider an HSA.
Health Savings Accounts allow you to set aside money specifically for healthcare.
By pairing an HSA with a high-deductible plan, you can lower your health insurance premiums and still have the peace of mind that you’re covered.
3: Change Your Coinsurance Ratio
Coinsurance is the ratio at which you and your insurance company share healthcare costs after you’ve met your deductible.
A common ratio is 80/20, which means that, after your deductible is met, you pay 20% of your costs and the insurance company pays 80% of the bill.
Consider your health history before making a decision about your coinsurance ratio.
If you’ve regularly needed healthcare, it may not be responsible or cost effective to increase the ratio for which you’re financially responsible.
Consult with an insurance agent if you have questions.
4: Shop Around
Especially for those with company health insurance plans, it’s a good idea to look into what plans might be available for you.
Company health insurance can be a great deal.
Just like bulk ordering of anything, the fact that many people are purchasing together can give your employer more leverage to negotiate a great deal.
However, it’s not always the best option on the market.
Compare your plan with your spouse’s, consider purchasing insurance together, and look at the health insurance marketplace.
You might be missing out on a very cost effective plan.
5: Use In-Network Doctors
Your primary care doctor may accept your insurance, but if they’re considered “out of network,” those services will cost you more.
When you’re shopping for health insurance, look at the doctors in and out of their network.
Using in-network physicians and providers costs less out of pocket.
If your doctor isn’t in-network and you don’t want to switch to a new primary care physician, it might be time to trade health plans.