A sudden medical emergency can really turn your current financial situation into a nightmare. We all know this, which is why most of us get health insurance. If we get sick, at least we can get some financial aid to help cover the costs.
The problem, however, is that health insurance isn’t exactly cheap these days. So how do you make sure you pay less on health insurance? Here are some tips to help you out:
1. Adopt a healthy lifestyle
This is basic commonsense stuff, but you’d be surprised at how many people there are in the world who neglect their health. Take smoking, for instance. It’s already established as a health hazard yet millions of people still persist in maintaining such an ugly habit, even in the US.
So not only do you increase your chances of getting a nasty medical condition because of smoking, but your health insurance cost will also increase as well. Your insurance company can charge you 50% higher premiums than what it charges non-smokers.
Eat healthy food, exercise regularly, don’t smoke, and get enough sleep every night. Use your common sense. It’s that simple.
2. Choose the insurance plan that fits your needs
If you tend to go to a doctor frequently, then your best option is an insurance plan with higher premiums but a lower deductible plan, so your frequent visits to the doctor won’t cost you as much. On the other hand, if you rarely go to a doctor, you can cut down on your health insurance by getting a high deductible plan which requires you to pay lower premiums.
3. Take advantage of health care incentives
Your employer may be offering some incentives. You may get a pay bonus if you can certify that you don’t smoke tobacco or you get a biometric screening. Even filling out a health questionnaire may entitle you to a bonus. Your company may even have group insurance plans that you can take advantage of, so you can get policies for your family at a discount.
4. Contribute to a Flexible Spending Account
The FSA is a special fund which can be used for certain medical expenses. You contribute pretax, and that saves you some money. Just make sure that you put in enough money in the FSA so that the account doesn’t expire and instead the unused money carries over for the next year.
5. Set up a Health Savings Account
The only requirement here is that you have an insurance plan with a high deductible. Again, your contributions come pre-tax and the amount is carried over for the next year. This money can be used for legitimate health expenses.
The tax advantages of an HSA are tremendous. You don’t have to pay taxes on your contributions, the growth of the funds is tax-deferred, and the money can be used tax free for eligible health care expenses.
There’s a lot of debate going on about health care these days. Follow the tips we’ve provided here to ensure you don’t pay more for health insurance than what’s necessary.