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How To Reduce Your Healthcare Costs

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Reduce your healthcare premiums. It may be easier than you realize. There are many low cost medical plans in Ohio and the amount of coverage on these policies will surprise you. Reducing your premium is possible and we’ll provide specific recommendations to help you cut your prices. And these tips will save you money every year!

10 Ways To Reduce Your Health Insurance Costs

1.     Compare quotes from multiple companies. The longer you have your policy, the more the rate will increase. Every 2-5 years, you should view prices from our website to insure your premium is still competitive. It’s always possible that a company that was expensive five years ago is now offering much lower rates. And conversely, a company that was not competitive many years ago may offer great deals now. That's how we help, since we handle the shopping aspect.

2.     Consider a Health Savings Account (HSA). Here in Ohio, HSA rates are very low compared to most other states and many of the Marketplace policies are HSA-eligible. You’ll be able to save money, pay for your health care with tax-favored dollars and accumulate money in years where you don’t have a lot of medical claims. And you'll never lose your accumulated money if you don't use it.

 Ohio HSA plans will save you money every year and lower your taxes. It's a great way to get affirdable healthcare in Ohio.

 3.     Don’t pay for coverage that you’re not using. For example, if you are paying for a maternity rider that you won’t be using…get rid of it! Of course, beginning in 2014, most plans included maternity without an option to delete. Also, if you’re paying for dental and vision benefits and rarely use them, carefully consider the costs and benefits of dropping the coverage, especially if it is duplicated on another plan. Paying for extra life insurance benefits on children makes sense, but adult prices are typically high on a health care policy. Purchase it through a life company like Prudential, New York Life, Northwestern etc...

4.     Change your major medical deductible. Your premium will reduce by hundreds of dollars per year (perhaps thousands of dollars if you have a large family). A change from $1,000 to $2,500 or $5,000 could make a huge difference in your rates. (You can view more deductible information here).  And, you usually can go back to the original deductible. But yes, there is a risk if you start incurring a lot of big claims. "Bronze" and "Silver" Exchange plans offer the most cost-effective deductibles.

5.     Review your bills. A “Network repricing” discount should be applied if you are using providers within your company’s network. Occasionally, this discount is not applied so it’s worth your time to review your paperwork. The discount can range from 10%-70%, depending on the type of service provided. This is why whenever you are treated, ALWAYS submit the claim before paying anything other than a copay. This allows the system to apply the reductions.

6.     Maintain good health. One of the biggest factors in determining your rate prior to 2014 was your height and weight, medications you took, and current and past medical history. Staying healthy won't secure better rates when shopping for coverage (unless it is short-term coverage), but It will help your life and disability premiums. Keeping a monthly chart of your weight may also help. It may scare you a bit also!

 Lower your rates if you have medical coverage in Ohio. Through discounts and special tax subsidies, you can reduce your rates up to 50%...or more!

7.     Take advantage of “Freebies.” Many of the large Ohio health insurers offer free advice, education and online links that will help you stay fit. Often, discounts are available on products that you may already be using. Contact us for additional specific details on discounts and wellness programs through clubs and YMCAs. Many of them won't cost anything. You may be able to save money on an existing membership you already pay for.

8.     Email or call us and we’ll be happy to review your current coverage. If there are better options that maintain your existing benefits and lower your premium…we’ll show them to you. If it is advantageous for you to make no changes, we’ll tell you. The Affordable Care Act has changed the dynamics of how you buy a policy and what you get for your money. We will help you understand the changes.

9.     Consider increasing your coinsurance or reducing the number of covered office visits. Both of these changes will result in lower coverage so it’s important to understand the impact and properly compare that to the money you will save. Consider "Silver" Metal plans if you qualify for a subsidy.

10  Compare the cost of office visit charges and prescriptions. Doctors charge different rates and prescription prices can vary between different pharmacies. “Pill-splitting,” if available, with your prescription, may save you some money. Changing pharmacies or providers may make a difference too.

We are committed to finding our clients the lowest available prices. But we also feel it is just as important to provide quality benefits that will provide the treatment and care that the customer expects to receive.

UPDATE: April 24 2014 - We'll add another cost-saving idea. If a qualifying "special event" causes your projected income to be lower than you estimated when calculating your subsidy, you may be eligible to change plans. Typically, this occurs when your tax credits or cost-sharing reductions are impacted.

Thus, regardless of what month this occurs, you may be able to utilize Open Enrollment again, and take advantage of any Exchange plans that are offered. You would also be able to change companies and type of coverage you previously had.