Everyone likes to save money and your health insurance is a place where you can find savings. The easiest way to save money with health insurance is to only insure yourself for large, catastrophic medical problems or to increase your deductible in order to decrease your monthly premium. Both of these choices might not be the best health insurance option for everyone because each will increase your out-of-pocket medical expenses for everyday medical care and preventative examinations.
There are a number of tips to keep in mind beyond increasing your out-of-pocket expenses to minimize your health insurance costs while receiving the health insurance coverage you and your family needs.
Here are six things to consider for saving money through your health insurance:
1) If you are part of a health insurance plan such as a POS (point-of-service) or PPO (preferred provider organization), make sure you only use doctors and medical services that are in-network for your plan.
2) Take every tax deduction offered on health insurance. For the self-employed this means deducting all your health insurance premiums, and for participants in employer-based plans deducting the portion you pay of your health insurance premiums. And medical and dental expenses you incur that your insurance doesn’t cover that exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI) can be deducted as well.
3) When you are comparing health insurance quotes take a look at the long-term implications of your plan. Lower health insurance premiums and up-front costs will mean more out-of-pocket expenses and possibly much higher medical costs over the long run. Consider how you expect to use your health insurance and factor all the costs when comparing health insurance quotes.
4) Don’t make visits to the emergency room unless you are experiencing an actual medical emergency. The co-pay will likely be very much higher than for a regular office visit.
5) If possible participate in employer- or other organization-based group health insurance. The rates and qualification requirements are typically lower. If you are part of a employer-based group health insurance plan have your employer pay the premium on a pre-tax basis to lower your overall taxable gross pay. Another way to reduce your taxable income is to participate in your employer’s flexible spending plan to save money for out-of-pocket health insurance expenses such as co-pays, some medications and certain medical devices.
6) Save money on health insurance prescription medication by using online pharmacies. Traditional pharmacies will typically dispense only a 30-day supply of medicine while online pharmacies will allow for 90-day supplies for the same co-pay.