Depending on who your health insurance provider is and what types of health insurance needs you require, there are a few options to help lower your health insurance premiums. Most Americans obtain health insurance through their employer. Other have private health insurance coverage.
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Health insurance through an employer is typically done on a group rate, in which case, it is dependent upon how many individuals are insured, their individual health risks, and other varying factors depending on the company. However, for those other individuals and families that need insurance through other avenues, there are many types of health insurance that can provide coverage for lower health insurance premiums.
What factors impact health insurance premium rates?
To save money on health insurance premiums, it is imperative that you understand what factors impact the price of health insurance, and more importantly, which factors you can change to ultimately lower your health insurance premiums. The most obvious and often the most difficult factor to alter is your health. There are certainly limitations to how much you can affect this factor, but the main things to improve this part of your premium can be simple lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier to lose weight or giving up smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages.
How can deductibles lower insurance premiums?
Another option to consider if you need to lower your health insurance premium is to look into policies that allow for prescription deductibles. If you do not have monthly medications, this will lower your overall premium, although you will have an out-of-pocket expense to fill a prescription.
The next option to help lower health insurance premiums is to opt for a policy with a higher overall deductible. Again, this will increase out-of-pocket expenses should an accident occur, but this will certainly lower monthly premiums for your health insurance.
What other discounts are available?
Finally, if you are not under an employer based health insurance plan, consider other groups or organizations that you belong to. Many varying types of affiliations may offer health insurance premium discounts. Alumni associations, local business groups, and even unions may partner with a health insurance company to make coverage more affordable for their members.
What types of health insurance plans can help manage premiums?
To figure out what type of coverage will be best for your needs and wallet, take a look at the type of plans available. There are two types of health insurance plans available: managed care and traditional coverage. The first type to be utilized was the traditional health coverage, so let’s first take a look at that.
Basic Medical Insurance will cover hospital, medical or surgery benefits only if necessary. Preventative care is not utilized and this will revolve around what the average costs are for the medical care. If deciding to take this minimal insurance, it is still worthwhile to compare other more comprehensive policies to understand what you will be sacrificing.
Major Medical Insurance takes it a step up by covering more procedures and even certain continuing illnesses. This certainly is a more comprehensive policy, but it is still useful to compare some managed care policies as well.
The next type of coverage is of course managed care and is the type that the majority of us are familiar with. Let’s explore the different types of managed care:
- Preferred Provider Organization (PPO): In this type of managed care, insurers contract with specific providers to cut down on costs for the insured and speed up payments to the providers. This is where the terms “in-network” and “out-of-network” were born. In-network providers mean that the providers are contracted with your insurance company and thus will have lower copayments or other costs associated, depending on your chosen plan.
- Health Maintenance Organization (HMO): In this managed care, the insured simply pay a monthly fee but have less flexibility to which they may see when compared to a PPO. They will be assigned a PCP, or primary care physician, and they will need to obtain a referral from this doctor in order to see any specialist. Otherwise they risk the medical costs not being covered.
- Point of Service Plans: This managed care is a combination of the preferred provider organizations (PPO) and health maintenance organizations (HMO). At the “point of service”, you hold the option to pick whether you want to choose from a network of providers, inside and outside the network. Obviously the downside is depending on the choice, you can end up paying higher coinsurance.
- Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPO): While similar to a PPO, you may only choose the offered contracted providers set out by your insurance company. Out-of-network does not exist, and thus would not be covered.
To start finding health insurance companies that have lower health insurance rates for you and your family, use our free comparison tool on this website to start saving today.
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