With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, some Americans are finding themselves shopping for health insurance for the first time. While some individuals found themselves with coverage thanks to Medicaid, many more people found themselves with high-priced premiums and decreased coverage. Finding insurance that will meet your family’s needs without breaking your monthly budget can be a Herculean task. Included here are a few tips to help you lower your health insurance premium.
While the healthcare reform may have altered the insurance landscape in that you cannot be refused coverage, insurance companies are still able to charge a “premium” for those who smoke. Smoking increases your risk of COPD, asthma and lung cancer which can end up costing your insurance company. In return, they charge you more up front on your monthly premium, as much as 50% more for the same coverage as a non-smoker.
Even though studies are showing that the Body Mass Index ratio is completely unreliable, many insurance companies still want to know your weight and BMI. Being classified as obese can mean that you will be paying higher insurance premiums due to weight-related illnesses. Unfortunately, because the BMI is so inaccurate, you may be a perfectly healthy individual but find yourself improperly classified and stuck with high insurance costs.
Increase Your Deductible
As you research insurance, you realize that the deductible is the portion you must pay out of pocket before the company will begin covering your health bills. For individuals with chronic conditions or frequent illnesses, it can be wise to keep your deductible low; but, the lower your deductible the higher your monthly rate. However, if you are a healthy individual, you may consider increasing your deductible and enjoying a lower monthly premium.
Utilize In-Network Providers
It can be a horrible realization to find you received health care services at an out-of-network doctor’s office. Going to a hospital, clinic or doctor who is not a preferred provider with your health insurance plan can result in astronomical health care costs and services not covered by your insurance. Make sure you save on your monthly health bills by always utilizing in-network providers for care.
Reassess Your Needs
Reevaluating what coverage is truly necessary for your family can help you cut down on insurance costs. You may need to pay for some routine coverage out of pocket to enjoy a lower monthly premium but the savings may be worth it. Additionally, you may consider increasing your monthly premium slightly to have a lower deductible for chronically ill family members. Have a clear understanding of your needs and budget before signing on with a health plan.