Ways to Save on Health Insurance

These days, with the economy still struggling, it is imperative that consumers save as much money as they can on their purchases. Health insurance is no exception. Managing your own healthcare expenses is vital if you are going to successfully budget for your household. By consulting these upcoming tips, you can save some money on your health insurance.

The Correct Plan

What is the correct healthcare plan for you? The only way to find this out for certain is by doing the research necessary to find out which plan functions the best for your entire family. If your company offers health insurance, analyze if it makes more sense to choose a high deductible plan where you pay more out of pocket for a less expensive premium or a plan that takes out more per paycheck but only requires you to pay a smaller co-payment. Self-care In today’s hyper-stressed world, a lot of people just neglect their own care, which is a pity because you can really bring down your healthcare costs by looking after yourself with greater zeal. Some easy and popular ways of self-care including getting enough regular exercise per week and eating food that is nutritious (this also includes limiting your intake of junk food!).


Prevention is a great way to save on your health insurance costs since you are eliminating potential problems before they become an issue. However, you have to know what is going on with your health so that you can take the right steps to prevention. Getting a yearly physical is ideal for this because it will empower you to stay on top of your personal health.

Analyze the Explanation of Benefits

An explanation of benefits is a written explanation that your insurance company will provide you from time to time. When you get this, be certain to go over it very meticulously. Sometimes, your insurance company can make an error, such as wrongly charging you for either procedures or tests that you never had.


When you budget for all the expenses of your household, it is necessary that you also include your healthcare costs. For instance, letís say that you are plotting to have a baby in the following year. In such a situation, opening a health savings account or HSA would be a good option. Another good selection would be an employee-sponsored flexible spending account or FSA. Both accounts are excellent in aiding you with the extra costs of caring for a baby. Discounts Sometimes, a health insurance plan will actually reward good behavior with discounts. Good behaviors are behaviors that tend to prolong life and bring up the quality of life. For instance, some health insurance plans can offer discounts on joining a health club, taking vitamins and using exercise equipment.


You are advised to be familiar with all of the details of your prescription drug plan, assuming you have prescription drug coverage. In some instances, you could save money on your healthcare expenses via heading to specific pharmacies or utilizing mail order pharmacy services. Saving money on your health insurance is possible, but it takes some effort. If you utilize some of the above tips, you can be sure that you will start to reap the benefits of your savings pretty soon.


  •  Type of Plan: HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) usually more restrictive but also less  expensive on a monthly basis – you will probably not be able to keep your doctor and many  doctors refuse to participate in HMO’s which can become very problematic if you are  experiencing a chronic medical condition. POS (Point of Service Plans) are less restrictive than  the HMO and more expensive. The PPOs (Preferred Provider Organization) are the most flexible  of the types of plans available and are usually the ones accepted by the greatest number of  physicians – however the cost is generally higher in terms of the monthly premium than an  HMO or POS. 
  • Monthly Premium: It is important that you select a plan that you can truly afford in terms of the  monthly premium. If you cancel for non-payment, you will not be able to secure regular health  insurance until open season rolls around again. Subsidies are available to be able to help pay  the monthly premiums for those that qualify – usually low to moderate income households.  Typically the lower the cost of the plan (before the application of any subsidy), the less coverage  is offered and the higher your out of pocket costs, i.e. you are cost sharing to a higher degree  with these types of plans and are “betting” on your health. The higher cost plans will generally  provide broader coverage and usually less out of pocket costs – as such these plans offer more  peace of mind.  
  • Deductible: It is very important to look at the annual deductible of the plan that you choose. If  you become ill or have an accident with integrative plans, you will have to pay your deductible  in actual medical expenses before the plan pays the first dollar of benefits. Usually the lower  the deductible, the more expensive the premium and vice versa. If you are relatively healthy and want to bet on that continuing, you can choose a higher deductible plan but realize that if  you lose the bet, you will have to consider this cost as part of your monthly budget. An HSA  (Health Savings Account) may be a good option to consider since this will at least reward you  with tax savings for that higher deductible plan. Bear in mind that if you have chosen a higher  deductible plan and end up with a chronic illness or injury that significantly cuts into your  budget, you can select a lower deductible plan (i.e. change plans) at the next open season.  Further preventative care, meaning your annual physical and all related tests are not subject to  deductible or co-pays and you will not have to pay any out of pocket costs for these. The other  consideration is that even though you are paying your expenses until you reach the deductible,  the cost for the services is still lower than what you would pay if you were uninsured since the  doctor, hospital or service provider must give you the negotiated rate that they are allowed to  charge for that procedure by the insurance company – this cost savings is usually very  significant. 
  • Maximum Out of Pocket Limit: Most plans have an annual maximum out of pocket limit that  the insured pays in the event of a catastrophic illness or injury. Basically this figure is reflected  as an individual cost and a figure for the family. This figure includes the deductible and the  entire out of pocket costs that the insured has paid for covered medical benefits such as co pays, co-insurance, etc. This figure is very important to consider before selecting a plan. Not  included in this figure are monthly premiums, balance-billed charges, and health care this plan  doesn’t cover. 
  • Doctor Relationships: If you have been working with the same physician for years and are not  comfortable with the thought of changing doctors, then you will need to verify that your  physician accepts the plan that you select and that your doctor is in network. This is especially  important if you currently suffer from any type of chronic medical conditions or if you have a need to see specialists. All the plans offer a hyper-link to search for the doctors that accept that  plan which is shown on the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC). 
  • Prescription Drug Formularies & Tiers: Most health insurance plans have different prescription  drug formularies. If you are on regular medications, it is important that before you select a plan  that you go over the list of medications that you currently receive and compare it to the drug  formulary that is covered under the plans you are considering as this can drastically affect the  cost of the plan. This is especially true if you suffer any type of chronic medical condition such  as diabetes, MS, Lupus, etc. It is also important that you understand the impact of “tiered”  formularies. Some plans typically list generic drugs as Tier 1 (for which you will pay the lowest  cost), Tier 2 which would be a preferred brand name drug (you will pay a slightly higher  amount), Tier 3 which is a non-preferred drug where you will have a to pay a higher amount and  then the Tier 4 or “specialty” drugs where you will have the highest out of pocket costs. A list of  the drug formulary for each plan can usually be found in a hyper-link on the Summary of  Benefits and Coverage (SBC) form that each plan offers. The other consideration for the cost of  prescription drugs is to ask whether there is a separate prescription drug deductible or is it part  of the medical deductible.  

*This is an outline of general considerations to help you choose and select a plan that will work for you. It is not meant to be an exhaustive  analysis. You should rely on the actual plan for specific considerations and review this with your Agent or Broker. 

To discuss your needs for Health Insurance in the Washington DC area contact us.

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