5 Tips to Save You Money on Health Insurance
There is a lot of talk out there about health insurance. It’s a complicated and expensive choice families have to make that really affects the budget. We have had our fair share of medical issues and dealing with health insurance companies so I thought I would share 5 tips to help you save money on health insurance.
One – Don’t just look at the premium amount. While your premium may be relatively inexpensive, your deductible could be extremely high, making your health insurance more of a major catastrophe plan. Let’s say you have a medical issue that requires surgery. Before surgery you have to pay $10k to the doctor and hospital before you can have the surgery. If you don’t have $10k to pay this deductible, this insurance is pretty much worthless to you. You will not be able to get the surgery you need because you don’t have the $10k making the premiums you did pay a big waste of money. If you know that you will use your insurance, choose a plan with a manageable deductible too.
Second – On the flip side, don’t pay for more than you need. If you are the type of person that only goes to the doctor once every 10 years to get a tetanus booster, then you will most likely be ok with a cheaper monthly premium and a higher deductible. Paying high premiums in your case is a waste of money.
Third – Ask the cash price. If you have a high deductible plan and you do have go to the doctor, ask what their cash price is. 90% of the time, it will be less expensive than if you were to use your insurance for that one visit. Example. My daughter needed an x-ray. They asked if we had insurance and I gave the lady my card and she asked for $124. For what ever reason, I thought to ask, “how much is it if I just pay out of pocket”. She responded, “$24.50”. You don’t have to ask which option I chose. It’s silly to pay those high prices for one visit.
Four – One size doesn’t fit all… even within a family. Did you know that a family can purchase 2 separate plans? In my family, our oldest daughter and myself are the only ones that use our insurance. I have chronic issues and our oldest daughter is special needs. We always know that the two of us will meet the deductible every year. Zack and the other three kids a once per year physical and they are good. Des and I need a low deductible plan, but if the six of us were on the same plan, it would cost us $1300 per month. OUCH! As our kids say, we used our “smarticle particles” and Zack and three kids are on one plan and I’m on another with our eldest. Totally different companies too. We shopped around. By doing this it saves our family $500 per month! That is a LOT of money!!
Five – Do the math. If you have small kids or have issues to where you know that you will using your insurance, a good bit, look at what it will cost in the worst case scenario. Know EXACTLY what your medical cost would be for the entire year and then compare plans. Look at the cost of premiums (times 12 months) + out of pocket maximum = your total cost for the year. For example, if my premium is $20 per month and my out of pocket maximum is $500, then I know that my medical cost for that particular plan is $740. Compare the plans this way. While a plan may seem good, when you break it down like this, you will see exactly what you would pay in the worse case. I call this the “cost per unit method”. Break it down just like you are shopping for paper towels or dish soap, lol.
Lastly, it’s also worth looking into a separate dental plan than what your health insurance offers. With my plan, it was $30 per month just for me. We shopped around and found a similar plan direct that was $300 per year for the whole family. Also, all six of us wear glasses and or contacts. We save a TON of money with VSP . I didn’t even know you could buy vision insurance until recently. So you might want to check that out too. Just another way to save!
After my years of dealing with insurance companies and shopping for the best deals, this is the some ways I have learned to save on health insurance. Please let us know if you have any questions. Good luck.