Health care is expensive, and if you are responsible for securing your own policy, the costs can be intimidating. You want an inexpensive policy, yet you need to make sure it provides the coverage you would need—after all, that is the point of insurance. Here are some tips for finding the right plan for your needs at the right price.
Carefully Consider Your Individual Needs
Like any insurance product, there are countless types of insurance policies that offer all sorts of different coverage options. Carefully thinking about your health needs is an important first step in getting the right policy for you at the right price. What are you hoping to get out of the coverage? Are you looking just to receive coverage in the event of a catastrophic illness that leaves you hospitalized or do you also want to have it cover office visits? Are you in relatively good health or do you have chronic health conditions that require frequent medical attention? Do you need expensive medications that are only affordable with prescription coverage?
Increase Out-Of-Pocket Expenses for a More Affordable Plan
Again, like any other insurance product, the more costs you are willing to shoulder yourself, the less money you pay for health care premiums. When it comes to health insurance, there are a few ways you can do this. You can choose higher co-payments for office visits and prescription plans. The biggie saving-technique here is paying a higher deductible—the amount of money that you are responsible for paying out of pocket before coverage kicks in. When shopping for the best high-deductible health plan, you need to be very careful; in your zeal to get the lowest-cost plan, do not pick a deductible you could actually never pay on your own should you ever actually need your insurance.
Set Up a Health Savings Account
A health savings account is a great tool for acquiring a lower cost insurance policy. An HSA offers some great tax benefits and allows you to bank money that can be used towards deductibles and co-pays. This way, you have the money you need to get that higher-deductible coverage that can result in a policy that costs half or even less than half of standard health insurance plans. In essence, your policy is designed to offer protection against catastrophic illness, which is what most of us are most concerned about anyway in terms of health insurance. There are many plans designed to work specifically with an HSA.
Pay Careful Attention to Maximum Benefits
Most insurance plans are going to have a maximum amount of money they will pay out over the life of your insurance policy; when choosing the right plan for you, it is very important to familiarize yourself with that number. Some ultra-low-cost policies may pay out an ultra-low amount of money that can be quickly eaten up should experience a serious acute health problem or be diagnosed with a chronic illness. You also want to see if the plan has an ‘’add back’’ feature, which means that as coverage is used, it adds back a certain amount of money each year.
Buy Insurance When You are Healthy!
The healthier you are, the more affordable a policy you will be able to find; if you should develop health problems in the future, you will already have a plan in place. Health insurance is not like car insurance, which you do not buy until you need it; getting an affordable policy when you already have developed a health problem can be very difficult and practically impossible.