12/17/2009

Some easy ways to cut your insurance costs

Medical are constantly going up every year, and if you don't want or have the money to spend on costly healthcare services, here are some useful tips to make your expenses much lower.

1. Prevent problems before they arise

The most effective way to keep your medical costs low is to prevent any health problems from developing. Exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, stop smoking, follow a diet, and run through regular medical checks at your doctor's office. It all may sound simple, but the healthier you are the lower it will cost you to visit a doctor or get insurance.

2. Comparison shop when buying insurance

In case your employer doesn't provide group insurance plans, you will benefit from individual insurance plans. But when shopping for insurance you will definitely notice how the rates differ from one company to another. Take it as an advantage and shop around, getting quotes from as many insurance providers as possible. This way you will find the most competitive offers that will help you save money. In case you are generally quite healthy and want to be insured only from serious illnesses or accidents, you will find more use from catastrophic insurance coverage.

3. Save money on prescription drugs

The most convenient way to cut costs on prescription drugs is getting them by mail in a several-month quantity either from pharmacies or online drugstores. This will cost you considerably less than buying from your local drugstore directly. In case your plan is a bit strict on the source of medications, you should ask your doctor about cheaper generic variations of the drug you're prescribed whenever possible. Senior people and families with low-income can also contact pharmaceutical companies for direct assistance.

4. Sign with your spouse's insurance plan

In many cases married people have two separate policies either provided by their employers or on an individual basis. And in most cases it's not the best thing to have cost-wise. Analyze both of your policies to learn which one has better coverage and rates, and sign with the better one. Most insurance policies allow you to include your spouse so make sure to consult with your insurance company representative about that.

6. Ask about discounts

While not always medical institutions or insurance providers offer discounts, it never hurts to ask. First learn what other companies and facilities charge for the same services and in case the costs are lower, try negotiating a discount with your plan providers. Sometimes you can succeed in it, getting a good cut in costs.

7. Learn what your policy actually covers

Your health insurance policy can have more types of coverage and larger amounts than you actually need. But sometimes you can use certain services for free if your policy provides the coverage. For example most people believe that acupuncture procedures are not covered and will pay for them on their own. Some policies actually include these types of services too, so it's much better to learn what is included in your policy before paying for something. On the other hand, your health insurance plan may have coverage you don't need at all, which still costs you money, so you may consider dropping some types of coverage to reduce your rates.

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