Health Insurance: Six Ways to Save Money on Your Monthly Premium

, Finance

There is no doubt that the high cost of health insurance can put a major financial strain on many individuals and families. This financial strain often leads to high anxiety, stress, and even conflict between family members. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to reduce the cost of your health insurance premium and relieve some of your worries.

  1. Cut out all tobacco and alcohol. Tobacco has been proven to cause several different health problems, including heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke. In order to make up for the risk of high health care costs, many insurance companies charge customers high premiums. In fact, most individuals who smoke pay at least fifteen percent more for health insurance. In addition, individuals who drink alcohol on a regular basis have a higher risk of developing cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and pancreatitis. Similarly to tobacco users, individuals who drink alcohol excessively can expect to pay significantly more for medical insurance.
  2. Join a union, professional organization, or club that offers group health insurance. This is a good option for individuals who do not receive health insurance through their employer or are self-employed. This option is often a lot cheaper than purchasing private insurance. A few examples of organizations that offer group health insurance include the Freelancers Union, National Association for the Self Employed, and AARP Health.
  3. Think about purchasing an HMO plan, also known as a health maintenance organization plan. Although HMO insurance is less flexible than other types of insurance, such as PPOs, they usually offer much lower premiums. If you are considering purchasing an HMO plan, be aware that you will have to choose a primary care provider. In addition, you will need a referral from your primary care provider in order to see a specialist.
  4. Lose some weight. Similarly to using tobacco or drinking alcohol, being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing very serious health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Consequently, individuals who are overweight can expect to pay approximately thirty-five percent more for health insurance than they would if they were at a healthy weight.
  5. Consider a short term healthcare plan. This is a great option for those who are in between jobs and cannot afford COBRA coverage. Although deductibles are usually pretty high, premiums for this type of coverage can be as low as thirty dollars per month. These types of plans usually only offer coverage for up to eleven months. In addition, they typically do not cover pre-existing conditions. Also, short term healthcare plans typically only cover accidents and illnesses, not routine care such as yearly physical exams.
  6. Drop any unnecessary options. For instance, if you very rarely visit your primary care physician, you may be able to save money on your premium by dropping unlimited doctor visits from your plan. In addition, if you do not take prescriptions, or you take ones that you can purchase inexpensively in generic form, you might want to consider dropping prescription coverage from your insurance in order to save money on your monthly premium.

Purchasing a health insurance plan that you can afford can be very stressful and nerve-wracking. However, by following these tips, you can save a significant amount of money on your premiums and greatly lower your stress levels.