Outmanouvering Rising Health Insurance Premiums
Healthcare costs have risen alarmingly and continue to do so. This has lead to less employers offering health insurance and many of the ones who do, asking for more employee contributions. A great number of those unemployed or on a low income, struggle to obtain health insurance at all. Even for those who do have it, affording to pay health insurance monthly, is one of the biggest financial challenges they face. This can prevent a great number from paying off their debts, saving up for retirement or simply enjoying the quality of life they rightfully deserve.
The price of insurance has increased, many premiums have sky rocketed. This leaves you with the choice to have to pay considerable amounts now or potentially have to pay thousands and thousands of dollars in future. However, either paying now or later are not the only options. It can be possible to obtain cheap medical insurance. Here are the best tips to reduce your costs and to obtain affordable health insurance in Maryland. Some of these can both help by keeping general health insurance costs down, as well as saving you what you are paying out of pocket. Don’t rush into choosing a plan, take your time to put the tips into practice, it will be worth it in the long run.
Tips to Reduce Your Healthcare Costs
- Are you eligible for any benefits and discounts?
Find out if you are eligible for any help from the government with paying for your health insurance.
- Prioritize your Health
In order to keep yourself healthy and out of the hospital, choose a healthy lifestyle. Exercise, eat a balanced diet, quit smoking and avoid excessive stress.
- Shop around for the best plan
Compare health insurance quotes. Don not settle for the first. Do your research and to find the plan which is best for you and your family.
- Find a Health Insurance Broker
Get an experienced professional on your side, to help you to compare health insurance quotes. An expert can help you with any questions you may have and guide you to find the plan that caters to your needs.
- Knowledge is Power
Taking the time to understand what the many health insurance terms mean and how these affect you, can help you to find affordable health insurance in Maryland.
- Choose an HMO Instead of a PPO
You might be able to lower your health care costs and in turn your monthly bill by choosing an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) over a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization). A PPO gives you more freedom but is more costly that an HMO. If you choose an HMO, you have one primary care physician who refers you to see a specialist, eliminating costly out-of-network coverage except for in emergencies.
- Look Into High-Deductible Health Plans
If you don’t visit your doctor often, you may consider a high-deductible health plan.
Monthly premiums are usually much lower, but if you go for this option, make sure you have some savings in case you should end up requiring more health care services in future.
- Find a Plan which Offers Incentives or Discounts
Companies often provide discounts or incentive plans to encourage you to use, for example, fitness trackers, in order to minimize risks and therefore costs.
- Choose a Plan which You Can Pair with a Savings Account
You can save up in these tax-free or tax-deductible savings accounts in order to pay for your healthcare. These plans which you can pair with savings accounts, also have higher deductibles.
- Check the Bill
It is not uncommon for the bill to contain mistakes, in fact apparently errors are made rather frequently. Ask for itemized billing and make sure to ask questions if you are uncertain of any of the charges.
- Get the Best Deal for Your Medications
Different pharmacies charge different prices for the same drug. Make sure you get the best deal. Check other pharmacies as well as bigger stores such as Wal-Mart and Target where you might find what you need at a much lower price.If you take any prescription medications regularly, find out what coverage different insurance plans could provide for them. You can take the insurers’ drug lists to your doctors who can hopefully help you to find and choose the cheaper options.
- Know All of Your Options
Ask your doctor if you are paying for the brand name, when you could choose a cheaper alternative brand. Finding out if there are over-the-counter alternatives, could also save you money.
- Ask for a Discount
A study found that over half of those who asked their doctor for a discount, were indeed successful. If you are a loyal patient and struggling financially, it definitely is worth a try. Health care facilities and billing departments may also be open to negotiation, especially if you are able to do something in return such as pay in advance.
- Mail-Order Options
For prescription drugs taken regularly, there may be a mail-order option. This can work out much cheaper that paying at the pharmacy.
- Coupons and Discount Cards
Check the drug manufacturer’s website of your specific prescription drug to see if any coupons or discount cards are available.
- Saving on Procedures and Tests
Ask your doctor how important it really is that you have certain procedures or tests. It might also be possible that there are any cheaper alternatives. Additionally, different testing sites charge different prices for the same procedure. These have been known to vary a huge amount, so call around and get the best quote.
Implementing these tips can save you a lot of money. There are many ways of reducing the cost of healthcare without compromising the quality. However, there are many who need extra support and several programs have been put in place to help those which do need it. The following are three of these.
Health Care Programs
Medicaid and Medicare in Maryland
Medicaid is a huge help for those with disabilities. It aims to make their everyday lives in the community easier. It also helps to reintegrate those with disabilities who are hospitalized or living in nursing homes, back into their community. Medicare offers different types of coverage in Maryland. Eligible individuals receive healthcare paid for by this program. Qualifying for the program depends on family size and on income. Maryland’s Medicaid program has higher income limits compared to most other states. You must be a resident to be eligible for this program.
Maryland Children’s Health Program (MCHP)
Children eligible for this program in Maryland, receive lower or no-cost health coverage. These programs aim to keep these children healthy by providing them with routine check-ups, immunizations as well as dental care. Children who have been turned down in the past may currently be eligible for the Maryland Children’s Health Program.
Primary Adult Care Program (PAC)
For those eligible, this program covers primary health care as well as certain outpatient mental health services. Some low income eligible Maryland residents may also be covered for their prescription drugs, but usually there are small co-payments. Other than that, there is no enrollment fee, no monthly premium, no deductibles as well as no annual benefit limit with the Primary Adult Care Program.
These programs prove invaluable to some. In order to find the right healthcare, you have to ask yourself what your family’s needs are. What are your medical concerns? Can you get any subsides or tax credits? The following are some of the several companies which offer numerous different plans. These various plans cater to their customers’ individual needs.
Health Insurance Providers
Aetna is an insurance company which claims to save you money and keep you healthy. They work closely with the health care system to align the economic incentives in order to keep the focus on their clients’ health. They believe in letting you know how much a procedure costs beforehand, so that you can make an informed decision. They also pride themselves on their technology which allows them to seamlessly connect you together with your medical team and efficiently communicate the valuable information they require regarding your health care.
CareFirst offer the widest coverage for medical, dental and vision insurance in Maryland. They pride themselves on offering a number of doctors from which to choose to. What’s more no referrals are required to make appointments with the doctors you want to see, avoiding extra paper work. CareFirst offer health plans to suit various budgets, no charge for many benefits, as well as reward incentive programs. They have a free 24/7 medical advice line as well as the option to benefit a video visit without an appointment.
Cigna has expanded globally with over 40,000 employees and 95 million customers worldwide. They offer 24/7 support and have a huge network to meet their customers’ health goals. Aware of the power of preventative care, they harness it in order to improve their customers’ health, wellbeing and peace of mind. They also simplify access to health care and support recovery from injury or illness. Cigna pride themselves on their innovation, customer care and their ability to collaborate and work as a team.
Cigna PDP offers a range of prescription drug plans which vary according to where you live. These plans should help to reduce prescription drug costs both now and in future. These costs vary according to the plan you choose.
Golden Rule, a UnitedHealthcare company, provide access to one million healthcare practitioners and around six thousand hospitals and other facilities. Underwriter of short-term medical plans, they offer health insurance to cater for the needs of both individuals and families. They specifically reach out to those seeking health insurance who are bridging the open enrollment gap, recent graduates, foreign students attending U.S. schools, temporary or part-time employees, unemployed, waiting for employer benefits to start, as well as those without adequate health insurance.
Kaiser pride themselves on their coordinated care teams which communicate effectively and work as a team to keep you healthy. Their motto is that everybody deserves a healthy life. They aim offer a range of services which aim to simplify matters. Kaiser believe that they provide smarter, more personalized care. The pride themselves on giving the right care, instead of just more care; on prioritizing quality over quantity. They aim to offer both great quality and prices. They claim to offer you the best plan and do their very best to keep you from getting ill in the first place.
Look After Both Your Health and Your Finances
There are a wide range of plans and companies to choose from in order to obtain affordable health insurance in Maryland. With so many plans and programs out there, check the one which best suits your individual circumstances and that of your family. All of the different options can get very confusing. It is worth taking the time to do the research and getting expert advice. Doing so can make it easier for you to budget for your health insurance. Having health insurance, and the peace of mind it brings, is worth making some financial compromise. Prioritize what really is important and plan ahead both in terms of finances and getting you health insurance sorted out. Get your health insurance in order and ready in case of any future emergency, or any reasons for needing it. Put your health and finances first and with them, your happiness.