If you are looking to purchase a health insurance plan, then you might be looking to obtain quotes of different health plans offered by different carriers. However, the Affordable Care Act has made comparison shopping easier and you have the option to compare health plans through your state’s marketplace or by going to the HealthCare.gov.
Tips to lower your health insurance premium:
Increase your Deductible amount – Irrespective of the fact that you are enrolled in a group or individual plan, you can reduce your monthly premium by paying more out-of-pocket expenses.
Change your Co-insurance ratio – The co-insurance ratio is the amount that you pay after meeting your deductibles. A common co-insurance ratio is 80/20. This means that after you meet your deductible, your health insurer will pay 80% of your healthcare costs and you pay 20% of the cost. However, if you want to reduce your premium amount, then you can change this ratio by increasing your percentage. However, you first need to weigh the costs in comparison to risks and then change your co-insurance ratio.
Select a high-deductible plan with an HSA – High-deductible health plans generally are paired with a health savings account, and thus if you are looking to reduce your premium, then you can pair your high-deductible plan with an HSA. Both you and your employers can contribute to this account, and you can use the amount saved in this account to pay for your health care expenses. However, you should compare your anticipated health expenses with your potential health savings. If you are young and healthy, then a high deductible health plan with an HSA will be the best option for you.
Stop Smoking – The health insurance landscape has been changed due to the health care reform according to which insurers are not allowed to distinguish health insurance applicants based on their gender and health conditions. However, insurers are allowed to charge up to 50% more for the same plan if the applicants smoke. So, by stop smoking, you can considerably reduce your premium amount.
Compare between Group and Individual Plans – It is possible that both you as well as your spouse are having group health insurance plans available through work. If that is the case, then you should check whose group plan provides better coverage to both at the lowest cost. It also might be the case that your group plans might not be offering the best deal, and an individual family plan may also be a cheap option for you.
Select an in-network doctor – While selecting and searching for a plan, you must keep your choice of doctors in mind. You should not only look at costs and benefits but should also check the plan’s provider network. If your preferred doctors are not participating in your plan, then you will face out-of-network charges. So to reduce the monthly premium, you should choose a health plan that includes your preferred doctor in their network.
Reassess your health insurance needs regularly – By sticking to the same plan year after year, you may be missing out on savings. So you should periodically reassess your health insurance needs to check if you need to change your plan that may reduce your premium.