While the U.S. approach to healthcare insurance seems to be in constant flux these days, some things remain constant. No matter what plan you go with, there are ways to keep your monthly premium costs down.
7 Ways to Save Money on Your Health Insurance Premiums
1. Go with a higher deductible.
If you can, opt for a higher deductible, or out-of-pocket, and your premiums will be lower. This tactic is best used if you are in good health and don’t expect to be needing to use your insurance much.
2. Increase your co-insurance rate.
Once you’ve paid your deductible, your insurance will begin to share your health care expenses, typically paying 80 percent of the bill while you pay 20 percent. If you opt to pay a higher portion of the ratio your premiums will be lower.
3. Supplement coverage with a Health Savings Account (HSA).
Opening an HSA in conjunction with a high deductible is a good option. If you get health care insurance through your job, any contributions to your HAS made by your employer may be excluded from your gross income. Interest earned on the assets in the account are tax-free, and distributions may be tax-free when used to pay for specified medical expenses. Accumulated contributions in your HSA remain until you use them. You can compare what you think you’ll pay in health expenses with what you might save with an HSA Tax Savings Calculator.
4. Stick with a doctor in your insurance provider’s network.
If you’ve done your homework when selecting a health insurance policy, you like network of physicians you have to choose from. You can usually see an out-of-network doctor, but will have to pay more.
5. Pick the best group insurance plan for you and your spouse.
If you and your spouse both receive plans through work, go with the one that offers the best coverage for both of you. If your group rate isn’t a good value, you might want to consider an individual family plan.
6. See if you qualify for Affordable Care Act subsidies.
If you qualify, you can save on your monthly premium with a tax credit through your state’s health insurance marketplace. See if you qualify on HealthCare.gov.
7. Don’t smoke.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t smoke because it’s bad for your health. But it’s also bad for your health insurance coverage. Insurance providers can charge you more if you’re a smoker. For smokers, premiums are typically 15 to 20 percent more.