Tuesday’s Tip – How to Save Money on Health Insurance

When is the last time you did  your homework, including your math, and made sure you were getting the best possible deal on your Health Insurance?

Whenever our renewal comes, I double check to make sure we are still making the best decision and paying the best price for our family.

Here a few things that I do.

1.  Know how much do you spend on medical expenses every year.  For instance we have had it pretty easy and we rarely get sick or have issues, so we have put a high deductible, $5000, in place.  We pay a low monthly premium, but if there is an issue we do have to meet that high deductible.  In the last 14 years of having this insurance we have met our deductible twice, this year will be the 3rd time.  If we lowered our deductible to $500 it would cost us nearly $5000 a year more in monthly premium, so we have decided to gamble and hope we don’t meet that deductible.  It looks like this:

In 14 yrs we have saved about $63,000 by paying the low premium because of a high deductible.
We have spent $15,000 meeting the high deductible 3 times
Final savings in 14 yrs, about $48,000

2.  Look at other options within your insurance company.  For instance, I am older than my husband and I will have more claims.  Probably after this year I will have my own policy and my husband and kids will be on another.  I have a friend that currently does this and saves tons.

3.  Look at your current carrier and see how they stack up with what doctors they have contracts with.  Our insurance is slowly losing contracts with doctors.  My surgeon is no longer covered and I talked with a friend who had the same insurance, and they no longer work with 2 of her doctors.  This is going to cost me an additional $5000 because he is now out of network. Basically, the doctors think my insurance sucks.  Hmmm, not good news for me.  Time for me to work on #3.

4.  Learn everything you can about insurance companies for a few weeks, what kinds of things they cover, what they won’t.  This will not be a long term commitment.  It will be overwhelming, but it will save you tons in the future and lots of headaches later.  Once you learn everything you need to know, you can make a very educated decision on what insurance policy and company you will need.

5.  Look around at other insurance companies and compare prices.

6.  Once the decision is made you can sit back and relax and for the most part not think about it again for a very long time.

My insurance is up for renewal in September.  Between now and then I will be looking for a new company, as I am no longer happy with mine.  I will find the least expensive and the most comprehensive policy that suites our family.  I now have enough life experiences under my belt to know what questions to ask and what things to look for.  Plus I still know ways to save big bucks for my family.

If you are looking for Ways to Save on Medical Bills, I have tips for that too.

Linked to Couponomic Stimulus Package, Thrifty Tip Tuesday, Thrifty Thursday, Frugal Friday

Comments

  1. I think if more people paid attention to the math & the savings of a high deductable plan more people would opt for it! My previous employer offerred two types of plans- a traditional plan w/ co-pay or a Health Savings Account {HSA}. The HSA plan premium cost was significantly lower than the traditional plan. The HSA plan was also a HUGE savings for the employer, so much so that the company contributed $1000 into the HSA over the course of a year. For me it was great because I rarely went to the doctor & the money contributed pretty much covered the cost of plan premimum for the year!

  2. I don’t have many options, but this is a great article!

  3. What about other years where you spent more than $500, but less than $5,000? That should be included in the calculation.

  4. Good point, I agree those should be included. Until last year we didn’t have any issues except for one in October ’04, where we did spend $2400. Other than that, we never even hit the $500 mark, but probably did spend between $0-$250 a few times.
    Once that number changes, then we need to decide if we should change the deductible.

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