How To Save on Health Insurance

With health care costs soaring through the roof, the cost of health insurance premiums are increasing as well. Health insurance is a necessity, however, when you consider the costs of one visit to the emergency room, surgery to set a broken bone, scans, lab and other costs. When your budget is limited, how can you keep the costs of your health insurance premiums down? There are several steps you can take to reduce your health insurance costs and still maintain adequate medical coverage when you need it.

First step is to consider what health insurance options you have. Does your employer offer a group medical benefit? Many employers (and/or labor unions) offer health benefits to full-time employees. Group health insurance is usually the cheapest way to get medical coverage; an employer can negotiate with health insurance companies to get a group health plan at cheaper rates. In addition, many employers will pay part of the premium, reducing your health insurance cost even further. Another consideration is whether your spouse has health coverage available through their employer? If so, compare your health benefits plan to that of your spouse, and decide which health plan is the better buy. It may be possible to have one spouse carry family health insurance coverage and the other drop their health benefits. Many employers have multiple health insurance options, so review these plans as well. Choose the health plan that best meets your needs at the cheapest rate.

If no health insurance coverage is available through your employer, there are other ways to obtain health insurance coverage. Individual and family private health insurance policies are available. Shop and compare benefits and premiums from each health insurance plan. If you and your family are generally healthy, the new Health Savings Account (HSA) may be worth consideration. The HSA is an account that allows you to save tax-free dollars for your medical/health expenses. Similar to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), you are limited in the amount that you are allowed to contribute each year; however, with the HSA, withdrawals for health expenses are not penalized, and no tax is paid on the withdrawal. When paired with a health insurance policy that has high deductibles and low rates, the HSA may be ideal for you. Save money in the HSA for deductibles and co-pays, and you’re set.

For those over 65 or permanently disabled, Medicare is available through the federal government. The original Medicare is an 80/20 plan (they pay 80% of eligible expenses and the insured pays 20%) with an annual deductible and a monthly premium. Supplemental health plans are available to cover this deductible and co-pay. These supplemental health plans are usually private and the insured pays a premium. In addition to the original Medicare plan, there are Medicare HMOs. In these Medicare HMO health plans, the Medicare premium is paid to an HMO to provide benefits to the insured. HMO plans are more restrictive in that patients must get care through a network provider, but often these plans cover more prescription drugs and preventive care than original Medicare does.

Recently some employers have offered lower premiums to employees who do not smoke cigarettes. This is currently a controversial topic for some, but it certainly may begin a trend. In the future, employers and their health insurance providers could offer reduced premiums for employees who maintain normal weight, exercise regularly, and receive certain wellness benefits. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle lowers the risk to the health insurance company that they will be paying big bucks in health care down the road. And health insurance, as any other insurance, is all about risk.

Bottom line: going without health insurance coverage is a big risk for you. Find health coverage that you can afford just in case Murphy comes knocking at your door!

Baby Boomer Health Insurance – Save Money

Before baby boomers get on Medicare health insurance, they are fending for themselves in the health insurance market.

That does not mean there are not ways to save money on your baby boomer health insurance prior to age 65… it pays to shop around.

I retired in 1994 and have been on Medicare for several years… and I will admit having nothing but catastrophic insurance for 16 years prior to turning 65… I took advantage of the savings that Medicare offers me right now.

There is certainly no guarantee that the savings that I am enjoying now will continue… especially with the new health care legislation looming… do not be surprised if everyone’s rates, including those over 65 go up when that kicks in.

So how can baby boomers save money on health insurance prior to age 65?

The simple answer is to go online and do your research… if you are reading this article that means that you are familiar with using the Internet for research and you should take advantage of the resources that the search engines offer.

My wife is now also on Medicare,previously she noticed that her monthly health insurance bill went from $168 a month to $246 a month. after finding out online that cheaper programs offering essentially the same service were available from her current insurer… we called our current insurance carrier and signed up for a $182 a month policy. All with one simple phone call.

These money-saving opportunities are available to anyone willing to do some basic research online and spending a little time on the phone.

There are certain obstacles that prevent people from saving money, some of the most common are:

  1. Fear of having to find a new doctor
  2. Reluctance in changing from a company you are familiar with
  3. Not willing to put up with a hassle of shopping around

You can find out online what insurance plans they accept… if in doubt call the office of your current Dr. and asked them what plans they do accept.

Some are reluctant to change from an insurance company that they have been with for a long time… Insurance companies are not dummies and they know that people are reluctant to switch… the reality is that companies often offer much lower rates to obtain new customers… it makes a lot of sense to switch insurance companies every three years or so.

The last reason that baby boomers are reluctant to attempt to save money on health insurance… is the hassle of spending the time on the phone… with your current insurance company or a new one.

I don’t like to spend a lot of time talking to salespeople on the phone either but when you look back on the opportunities to save money by doing so it seems to be a wise investment of time.

You also now can compare Medicare plans without giving your phone number but there is a trick to do so… when you go to the page below and open the window do not click Medicare, if you do you will be asked for your phone number… instead go to individual health plans and give your current age, even when past 65… you will be taken to a page that will show you your Medicare options… without giving your phone number.

Previously the govt thought you were too stupid to make decisions on your own past age 65 and required you to go through a commissioned salesperson for Medicare plans.

You can save money without someone else’s help… Can’t you?

I thought so.

The gyrations are worth it and you will not have to give your phone number to decide for yourself which plan is best for you.