The advent of the Affordable Care Act has seen over six million uninsured young adults obtain health insurance since the law was passed in 2010. Some people have availed of the expansion of Medicaid; others are now able to remain on their parents’ policies; still others are now covered even if they had pre-existing health conditions when they signed up. For the majority of new customers in this industry, however, picking the right policy can be confusing. These are just a few tips to ensure you obtain the maximum coverage without spending more than you have to:
Shop Wisely For Your Coverage
It is vital to look beyond the short-term and compare what different companies have to offer you. In other words, don’t be tempted to opt for the pan that offers you the smallest monthly premium and don’t renew your plan without assessing whether or not it actually meets you / your family’s needs. Jot down all the times your family has been to see the doctor this year – dental check-ups, specialist check-ups, allergy treatment, vaccines, etc. Look at various plans and calculate the total of what each plan would cost you for all of the above.
Consider A Separate Plan From Your Spouse
Is your employer charging you extra because your spouse is on your plan? If your spouse works and is entitled to coverage through their employer, how much money could you save per year?
Open A Health Savings Account
If you are generally healthy and find that you don’t actually visit the doctor often, a high-deductible health plan might be the way to go, whenever you concurrently open a health savings account (HSA). The latter allows you to make pre-tax contributions and unused amounts are carried over into the next year. HSA accounts are portable, meaning that even if you change employment, they stay open. HSA accounts are advantageous in other ways: the interest and earnings on the money in your account are tax free, and distributions may be tax free if you pay for qualified medical expenses with the money in the account. You can also claim a tax deduction for contributions you – or anyone other than your employer – make to this account. Moreover, any contributions your company makes to your HSA account may be excluded from your income. To open an HSA account, you must not be enrolled in Medicare or claimed as dependent on someone else’s tax return.
Consider A Discount Program
Even if you and your family are already covered for medical and dental expenses, specific health plan programs can help you save on everything from eye care to dental care, etc. These plans can also cover so-called alternative health costs, so if you suffer from a condition that benefits from massage, acupuncture or natural medicine, of these plans/discount clubs will help ease the expense. Discount programs offer many different services, so the one you choose will depend on your requirements. Older clients can even avail of nursing, use of medical equipment, assisted living, etc.
Know What You Are Covered For
Co-pays can add up during the year, which can be frustrating when you discover that the issue or condition did not necessarily require medical treatment. Many insurance policies offer online or nursing assistance, who can give you further information regarding whether or not a visit is necessary. Other policies offer advantages and discounts which many are unaware of – everything from gym memberships to holistic activities such as yoga and Tai Chi.
Stay In Good Health
The best way to save on health costs is not to incur them in the first place. Think about the extent to which you are investing in your health – the foods you buy, the places you frequent, whether or not you are contributing to illness by leading a sedentary lifestyle, etc. Prevention is better than cure and this applies to check-ups as well. Schedule required visits to catch any illness early, before it becomes time consuming, expensive and possibly dangerous. There are many diseases, such as various cancers, which respond well to early treatment.
Make Sure Your Medication Is Not Too Expensive
Obtain a copy of medications covered by your policy and show it to your doctor, ensuring he or she prescribes you the lowest priced medication for your condition. Avoid taking higher dosages of pills than necessary – these medications may be more expensive than lower dose versions.