When shopping for health insurance, your priorities should be a broad range of coverage and cost-efficiency. Rhetorically speaking, the more the merrier when it comes to coverage and the less, the better when it comes to cost.
Now it’s not always possible to find such policies, which is why I am listing X tips in here that you’ll help you save money regardless of what policy you choose.
Look for healthcare subsidies
Just a few minutes of Internet searching can give you valuable information on health insurance subsidies. Federal subsidies can be availed by anyone depending on whether or not they are eligible for those subsidies. State subsidies normally have more stringent eligibility criteria.
Subsidies are an important part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which is commonly known as Obamacare. There’s a misconception that Obamacare only subsidizes the poor and toiling class people. In reality, more than 50% of ACA subsidies go to middle-income families and 60% of people that deserve to be subsidized don’t get the benefits.
Do you know what it means? It means you could be a candidate for health insurance subsidy. So stop wasting time. Gather all the information and apply.
Understand copays and deductibles
Unless you don’t understand what copayment, coinsurance and deductible mean and how these are different from one another, saving money would be tough. Before I begin describing them, keep in mind that there’s an order in which these payment options are arranged and deductible comes in the beginning.
A deductible is a fixed amount that you pay in order for your plan to start sharing healthcare costs. People normally look for low-deductible plans as it saves them some money. However, even with high-deductible plans, it’s possible to save money by leveraging tax-reduced accounts.
You are supposed to make copayments to the medical service provider. Copayments are set amounts similar to deductibles. However, these are payable on a la carte basis, meaning you have to pay a fixed amount for a particular healthcare service. When it comes to copayments, there’s something very important to understand; for preventive services, you don’t have to pay anything. If the insurance company is asking you to pay for preventive services, they are basically violating the law.
When you understand copays and deductibles, you save money by identifying the hidden costs and knowing exactly how much you are required to pay.
Follow proper negotiation guidelines
Negotiation is an art and you need to master this art if you want to save money on purchasing health insurance. In my opinion, healthcare facilities, billing departments and even your insurer are all open to giving you a discount if you give them a reason. A discount can be based on income or incentives.
Your odds of getting a discount increase when you compare multiple policies. Health insurance is a very competitive marketplace and every insurer wants the biggest slice of the pie, which means you might get “okay” as a reply if you tell your agent that you won’t sign the contract unless they give you discounts.
If you think you are not good at negotiating, hire a health insurance broker. Their job is to provide their clients with up-to-date info so that they can decisively select a policy.
Timing is critical
I am willing to bet that most people don’t consider it to be important when shopping for health insurance. But guess what! Timing is highly important. If you select a policy in your mid-40s, it’s hard to save money on it. Also, the policy you choose should be a long-term one in order for you to save money.
In the United States, young adults up to age twenty six can be under parental coverage. But globally, people of this age are considered adults and can buy policies on their own. What is the benefit of buying a health insurance policy when you are young? Well, you can expect the premium rate to be low. Young people are healthier, fitter and less likely to have chronic diseases. Hence, insurers give them attractive premium.
The benefit of long-term health insurance policies is that you can renew it and save money this way. So don’t ignore the importance of timing.
Ask other customers
Before you decide on a policy, ask your agent how much money previous customers saved on it. Tell him to connect with them (if it doesn’t violate the company policy) and ask them if they consider this plan less expensive compared to other plans. Remember, those people purchased the policy and paid premium for a considerable period of time. Their opinion could be a buying guide for you.
None of the five tips shared here are are unique or out-of-the-box. However, I can assure you that if you follow these tips, you’d end up saving money on your health insurance plan, while at the same time avail all the policy benefits.