If you have to pay for health insurance, you know that it can be extremely costly, but you probably haven’t spent much time thinking about what you can do to lower the costs or change the amount of insurance you have based on your needs. Most people just get the most expensive plan they can afford, but it’s important to look into what aspects will be good for your life and family, and what you can do to lower your costs.
Just like most services you pay for on a monthly basis, health insurance costs vary by company and you shouldn’t just go with the first one you hear about. Email and meet with different providers to find out how much insurance will cost you under their plans, and you can also use this time to take a good look at what your monthly expense will give you in return, so you can see if there’s anything you can cut out. Insurance is important, but that doesn’t mean you need to be paying an exorbitant amount.
Become Partially Self-Insured
By raising your co-pay amounts, you can reduce the monthly payment you have to make. This means that every time you go to the doctor, you may have to pay a hefty chunk of change, but during the in-between time you pay less. This is great if you rarely see the doctor, but want to have enough insurance to protect you in case of a disaster. By having a higher deductible, you’re essentially betting on yourself to need less insurance in the long run. It could be a bad bet, but it’s more likely to go your way than not, or else insurance companies wouldn’t be able to make any money.
Improve Your Lifestyle
The healthier your lifestyle, the less insurance should cost and the less you need. If you don’t smoke, have a healthy body-weight, and get regular exercise, you should be able to get lower-costing insurance and should also be able to survive with higher co-pays. Of course, pre-existing conditions can change this all around, but the average adult that makes healthy choices will be able to benefit from them.
Look at Your Family History
If your family has a history of specific diseases, you probably want to have enough insurance to cover you if you or your children inherit those ailments. It may cost a little more, but it’s better to be prepared if you’re aware of the possibility and can plan ahead enough to alleviate some of the costs for treatment.
Think About Your Dependents
Children definitely change your health insurance needs. If you have a child but no health insurance, you should look into getting a plan that can cover their costs, since children need to go to the doctor much more often than adults and missing out on important medical check-ups, exams, and vaccinations could hurt them for life. You never want to mess around with your child’s health, so be sure to plan accordingly to keep them safe and healthy.
While health care can be an unpleasant monthly cost, it also puts you in a safe position in case something goes wrong. Try to alleviate the high cost by talking with several different insurance providers, raising your co-pay, and keeping a healthy lifestyle, and you’ll be able to make this monthly expense somewhat less irritating. It is, after all, your health.
Editor’s Note: Tami Therone writes for medical blogs where you can get more details about medical care.