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How Can I Lower My Health Insurance Costs?

by The Happy Rock on March 29, 2009

health-care-panama-mriThe following is a guest post written by Barbara Waltz one of the founders of 247QuoteUs.com, an online resource blog and insurance quote comparison guide.

Rising health insurance costs make it important for individuals and families to reduce the amount spent on coverage. Some people feel that the situation is out of their control. However, here are several tips to lower health insurance premiums.

Tip No. 1 — Choose a Health Insurance Policy Customized for Your Needs

Many health insurance policies give you options that you simply do not need. While it might make you feel more secure to have these options, you should consider whether you really want to pay for services that you are not using.

Choosing a policy that excludes services like orthodontics, prescription medication and doctor visits can drastically reduce your health insurance costs. If you are in good health, then you rarely use these services. So why pay for them?

Tip No. 2 — Investigate Your Private Health Insurance Policy Options

Even if you get health insurance benefits from your employer, you should still consider contacting insurance providers to discuss the possibility of purchasing a private policy. This is especially true since so many companies are raising rates and co-pays for their employees.

You can customize a private policy to your needs instead of accepting the terms set by your company. You are better equipped to make your healthcare decisions than your employer is.

Tip No. 3 — Shop Around for Good Rates

Another advantage of getting your own health insurance instead of using your employer’s system is that you can shop around for better rates. This will require some effort on your part, but the results are worth it.

Contact several insurance providers and get information about their plans to help you decide which ones have affordable plans that address your concerns. Be sure to contact other providers on a regular basis, as well. It is a good idea to choose one month a year to shop around for a better rate and make sure you have the best deal.

Tip No. 4 — Increase Your Deductible

Increasing your deductible will reduce your health insurance costs. This is especially useful if you only have insurance for emergencies instead of regular doctor’s office visits. Keeping your deductible high but within your range of affordability can significantly reduce your monthly insurance bill.

Tip No. 5 — Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Many health insurance providers give their best rates to clients that make healthy lifestyle choices. In fact, many policies will help you pay for gym memberships, massages and other services that can improve your health.

Smoking cessation programs also give financial incentives to tobacco users. You could actually lower your monthly health insurance bill by exercising, giving up tobacco and eating well. Not only will you save money, you could feel better and live longer too!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Debt Destroyer March 30, 2009 at 10:37 pm

I have a question on tip #1.

Lets you you get a policy that excludes orthodontics, but then you are involved in an accident. Let’s say the treatment involves require orthodontics.

Didn’t you just screw yourself?

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Horlic March 30, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Thanks for sharing. On top of that, opt for those companies provide great insurance coverage for staff could be one of the tips to lower down your health insurance.

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Barbara Waltz March 31, 2009 at 9:17 am

Hey Debt Destroyer

In most cases, a health insurance policy would cover orthodontics to repair damage done by an accident, even if they do not normally cover dental work. If it was due to an auto accident, the car insurance policy should have some personal injury coverage as well which would cover it. I am not sure if this was just a curious question, devil’s advocate, or based on something that has happened – if it is the latter let me know and perhaps I can elaborate a bit more.

Barbara

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Debt Destroyer March 31, 2009 at 12:47 pm

It was just a general question.

Currently my family is without Dental Insurance, and part of me feels like I’m playing Russian roulette.

Thanks for the feedback.

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Barbara Waltz April 1, 2009 at 2:55 am

Debt Destroyer,

Depending on how your plan is structured, some groups do it differently, dental and orthodontics are different options. Many will bundle them together however.

If you are looking into just dental, i’d think about your family’s needs. If it is just yourself and your spouse, then it may not be as necessary for certain plans, but if you have children you would likely use it more often as they should try to get regular checkups.

Comprehensive plans tend to add around $25+ a month, indemnity plans are about $15+ , there are other options and it may be possible to add something onto your individual or group health policy (depending which your family is on).

Not having it is of course a good savings method, but if you think you will use it then in the long run it will set you back more than you gain as a dental visit can cost a lot of money if it involves more than just a routine cleaning.

Hope that helps :)

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Allison June 9, 2009 at 5:16 am

I was just now searching around about this when I stumbled on your post. I’m just visiting to say that I very much liked seeing this post, it’s very clear and well written. Are you considering posting more on this? It looks like there is more fodder here for later posts.

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Warren P. Bonds June 27, 2009 at 3:47 pm

I raised the deductable on my health insurance recently. I also exercise regularly and I don’t pay that much for my insurance.

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Jeffrey November 6, 2009 at 8:19 pm

It really would be nice if health insurance companies took into account healthy lifestyle decisions such as weight loss. So far this year I have lost 40lbs and feel so much better. I also added a light workout routine to help build muscle to consume more of those dreaded calories. Despite this, insurance rates are still very high. But as your tips suggested, I do have a customized health insurance plan. The plan is geared more towards accidental injuries, which is covered 100% without any deductible. This is a good route for people to go if they have young children and are in good health.

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Peter April 22, 2010 at 5:56 pm

You’ve done a nice job at showing readers the other side of the health insurance that they can actually participate in. That’s great. At least, most individuals would learn that it takes two to tango instead of merely putting the blame on insurance companies alone.

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Ozkar May 13, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Hello Barbara and all.

I am in the Insurance industry and one of the alternatives employers and individuals have are:
* Raising their deductibles
* With part of those savings, get an indemnity policy that will pay to YOU in case of a medical event. It could be due to an accident or health related matter.

It is important to be protected but sometimes budget make us be creative.
I am in California and I am being to help a lot of people with some of the products I handle, at the end of the day it feels good to be of help.

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