Just when you thought health insurance couldn’t get any more expensive, the coronavirus appeared. Now, affordable health plans are nearly impossible to come by, especially if you’ve recently experienced unemployment or developed a chronic illness.
However, there is hope for the younger generation. Millennials and 20-somethings are in a unique position to save money on health insurance. Because you’re young, spry, and unlikely to suffer severe injury or illness, there are various ways to decrease your monthly premium.
Plan for a brighter future and put more money in the bank by using the following tips.
1. Shop Around
Just as brides like to shop around for the best wedding dress, you should bargain shop for health insurance the same. Sure, it’s not as romantic as trying on gowns, but calling at least three insurance companies to get price quotes is a smart move since it can save you thousands in a single year. Shopping around for doctors and prescriptions can also save money after you settle on a plan. Hooray for savings!
2. Look Into Subsidies
America is the only developed country without universal health care, which means some people can’t afford the total cost of health insurance coverage. In this case, the government may step in and help you get coverage through a premium tax credit or cost-sharing subsidy. If you’re eligible for this assistance under the Affordable Care Act, these subsidies could help you purchase a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
3. Go with a High Deductible
As a young adult, you’re about as likely to experience a life-threatening emergency as you are to summit Mt. Everest. However, not purchasing a health plan can cause a great deal of stress, especially when you know that an emergency could land you in serious debt. Eventually, this underlying worry can lead to heart and lung disease and other complications that can raise your premium years from now.
Instead of worrying yourself to death, opt for a plan with a higher deductible and lower monthly premium. Doing so will keep the price tag low and save you from a lifetime of debt in an emergency.
4. Choose Self-Funded Insurance
Many people don’t realize that self-insurance is relatively affordable compared to full insurance coverage through the Marketplace. That’s because you only pay for what you use. They also tend to be more flexible and customizable than traditional plans. Check with your employer to determine whether they offer this kind of plan and if it’s the right choice for you.
5. Stay In Your Network
When making appointments, double-check that the doctor is in-network and accepts your health insurance. Just because your doctor currently accepts your provider doesn’t mean they will accept it in the future. So remember to ask every time you schedule a visit. Otherwise, you could get stuck with a hefty bill that you’ll have no choice but to pay out-of-pocket.
6. Use Generic Drugs
Just because your doctor prescribes you a brand-name medication doesn’t mean you have to fill the prescription. Often, off-brand drugs are more affordable and just as effective. So don’t hesitate to discuss options with your primary care physician or pharmacist. You can also reference your insurer’s list of covered drugs to determine best which options are the cheapest.
At the end of the day, the best way to keep health insurance costs low is to maintain good health. So practice self-care and prioritize exercise and nutrition. The more health-conscious habits you cultivate now, the more likely you are to receive lower premiums, even as you age.