The 2018 enrollment report stated that 11.8 million individuals either signed up or renewed for 2018 coverage through HealthCare.gov in the marketplace. However, because of Trumpcare, many are confused on whether these healthcare plans will change or not. Americans are now trying to figure out which healthcare plans are more affordable regardless of government plans. Well, if you’re one of them, then here’s the trick: it’s not actually about what’s the cheapest. Here are the best tips in finding the right health insurance:
1.Lower Premiums May Not Be the Most Affordable Option
Just because the price tag looks low doesn’t mean it’s affordable. Your decisions must not be based on how low the premium is, but on how much you are really going to get out of your plan. For example, choosing a high deductible policy may get you to pay less in low premiums. However, a lower premium and a higher deductible plan may be advised only to those in good health and don’t have any accidents. Those who are on the other side of the spectrum may end up paying for more. Try evaluating the cost of your health insurance by the end of the policy term and see how much you have to pay. Also, consider the subsidies or tax credits you can get, what you can afford and your family’s actual needs. Don’t forget to weigh all your options before choosing the best one for you.
2.Consult a Health Insurance Broker Who Can Help You In The Whole Process
While insurance companies can only help you with their products, brokers, on the other hand, can guide you across many insurance companies and discuss options with you. It’s important to have someone help you with the legwork and at the same time understands what you really need. While some brokers may charge, most make their money by commission from the insurance company you will end up choosing. Not only can they help you save money, they are also able to maximize your benefits and more. Learn more about what a broker can do for you here.
3. Manage Your Healthcare Costs by Checking Your Medical Billing
According to studies, there is a high rate of error in medical billing. This should urge you to watch out for your paying percentage through deductibles, copays and coinsurance.
Furthermore, since health insurance rates increase when medical costs go up, keeping your medical bills in check won’t only save you money, but will also help keep your general health insurance costs down.
Always ask for an itemized billing indicating the supplies, medications, or procedures you are being billed for. Always double check the copays, coinsurance and deductibles to ensure you’re only paying for what you’ve actually got.
4. Traditional Healthcare Insurance Alternatives
Did you know that there’s such thing as a group insurance-type benefits for individuals through professional or other member associations? Caitlin Donovan from National Patient Advocate Foundation has good advice on this: “Ask for help. Hospitals in particular may have programs to help you if you are faced with a large bill you may not be able to pay. There are also organizations, some disease-specific, that offer financial assistance and scholarship programs.”
5. Understand The Basics
You have to make sure that you have complete understanding about what various health insurance terms mean and how they can serve you. Don’t hesitate to look around and compare the copay, coinsurance, deductibles as well as other factors like lifetime maximums.
6. Negotiating Costs of Services and Discounts
Yes, we patients can ask for discounts. You just have to know which billing departments, doctors, and health care facilities are open to negotiations such as discounts for advance payments, paying in cash or heavy health concerns. Some doctors would take your health condition and financial situation into consideration.
7. Coverage On Prescription Drugs
In looking for a health insurance provider or renewing coverage, list down your regular prescriptions and find out where those medications stand in the healthcare provider’s list. See if the coverage of your new plan can help with your prescription drugs. If not, try looking for the one who does.
“Check different pharmacies to see who offers the best price for your prescription. If you fall below a certain income level, the manufacturer may have a program for you to help you access that medication. It never hurts to ask for help and may certainly help,” Ms Donovan advised.
8. Cut Down on Unnecessary Medical Tests, Appointments or Procedures
While doctors often require various tests as precautions, make sure these procedures are extremely necessary. Discuss with your doctor about your concern and make him understand your priority to save money. Being open about these things will help you and your doctor find the best, necessary and affordable healthcare procedures for you.
Based on Materials from The Balance
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