Top 5 Ways to Save on Health Insurance
The information contained here is for informational purposes only and not intended as advice or a recommendation. This post is to alert you to various ways consumers have reduced their health insurance costs and to encourage you to visit with a professional to discuss your specific needs.
#5: Learning about your Health Insurance Plan can pay a better hourly rate than your job.
For Instance, learn about your Wellness Benefits. Some companies will offer you cash or gift cards simply for completing your annual check-up. Others will offer you up to 50% off your gym memberships or significant discounts on goods and services related to your health. It's as simple as calling the customer service# on your card, or better yet register on the insurance company's website. If you have an agent, call them and ask. I bet with a little resourcefulness you could save $1000.
Estimate: Time 2 hours, Avg Savings $250
#4: Maximize your tax credits, deductions and avoid traps
Simply put, your tax preparer and insurance agent need to work well together. It doesn't matter if your sister's best friend does your taxes, your insurance agent and sister's best friend need to have a conversation about maximizing your taxes benefits. When a proper tax plan in executed, on average you should save 30% on your premium. Tax benefits on health insurance is the #1 tax break in the United States.
When calculating Tax Credits for the Marketplace, that's also an area where an experienced agent can help guide you on the best ways to structure your income or avoid potential tax traps.
Btw, did you know you can make a one-time transfer of $10,000 from an IRA to a Health Savings Account and then remove from your Health Savings Account tax-free for qualified expenses.
Estimate: Time 2 hours, Avg Savings $1500 - $7500 based on household size
#3: Learn about and utilize Telemedicine
According to a 2017 study, the average telemedicine visit costs $79. The average doctor’s visit is $149 and the average trip to the emergency room is $1,734. Now, some insurance carriers provide you free unlimited telemedicine visits. For example, if you need a prescription for birth control, utilizing telemedicine could be free as well as the prescription. The costs for follow up visits to review blood work, prescriptions for UTIs, colds, rash, etc... can all be avoided with telemedicine. A personal example, one time I swallowed a toxic chemical accidentally. I immediately consulted a doctor virtually who assured me the amount I swallowed would not harm me. Costs: $35 instead of a quick trip to the clinic for $200. Not to mention the time and money on I saved on gas.
Estimate: Time saved 2 hours, money saved $250/visit
#2: Avoid Gimmicks:
The biggest gimmick I've seen is the zero deductible plan coupled with a high out-of-pocket maximum. If you haven't watched my video on health insurance gimmicks, please spend 10 minutes and do so. If a plan sounds like it's too good to be true, it more than likely is.
Estimate: Time 1 hour, Savings TBD
#1: Don't Overpay!!! Make Good Choices
Here's a common mistake. Someone pays $5000 more for their annual premium for a $5000 lower deductible. Your premium is a guaranteed cost but your deductible is not. I much rather save $5000 on my premium and increase my deductible by $5000. If I only have out-of-pocket costs of $3000 for the year I end up saving $2000.
The above is just one example of a mistake consumers make when buying a health insurance policy. There are many others, so I encourage you to watch our short 5 Part Series on Simplifying Health Insurance. Of course you can contact us and we will answer any questions and guide you on your journey to saving money and maximizing your benefits.
Estimate: Time 1 hour, Potential Savings- Thousands.