Everyone needs health insurance, but sometimes it can be hard to understand exactly what is going on. There are so many different policies and choices to make, and it can be confusing without helpful guidance. It is a very important subject, and you should take the time to educate yourself about it. Here are some tips to get you on your way.
Avoid being turned down for insurance or having to pay astronomical rates, by avoiding dangerous, risky activities like racing cars, rodeo riding, skydiving, bungee jumping, scuba diving, kiteboarding, and so on! If you do have a dangerous hobby, don’t keep it a secret. Be sure to tell your insurance agent about it right up front. That way, if you are injured while participating in your dangerous hobby, you will have insurance coverage. If you don’t tell your insurance agent, you could lose your coverage altogether.
To save money on health insurance, one strategy is to pool your resources with a group of people. Doing so lets employers offer cheaper insurance to their employees. If you’re on your own, you may be able to take advantage of these savings by forming your own group or joining an existing one.
Let your medical insurance company know that you are traveling. Some companies will not provide any coverage to you or your family in a foreign country unless you purchase extra coverage. You may not end up needing it, but it is always better to be safe than sorry when you are traveling.
If you cannot afford insurance, you can try a few things to get the medical treatment you need. Many states offer insurance to qualified people, as well as clinics, that offer care for a sliding scale fee. The money that you save, can offer you the chance to get health insurance later.
Know which hospitals are accepted in your health care plan and let your loved ones know where to take you, in case of an emergency. Planning ahead for these events can help to save you and your family money. You can even carry a wallet card that tells emergency workers what hospital to take you to.
If you and your spouse are both eligible for health insurance through your individual workplaces, compare the two policies to see which one will benefit your family most. You may find that it is going to be cheaper to carry individual policies through your workplaces. Keep the surcharges that some companies charge for dependents when comparing the two.
If you use prescription medications and are on a health insurance plan, check with your insurer to see if 90-day prescriptions are available in pharmacies. 90-day refills have long been available by mail, but now they are becoming available in local pharmacies – which means you get the full cost benefit of a 90-day prescription (essentially 90 days’ worth of drugs for a 30-day payment), without having to wait for the medications to come in the mail. It’s a tremendous deal and definitely worth checking out.
Take some time to familiarize yourself with the contents of your health insurance manual for future reference. Your provider will give you a book that gives you all the policy details, so make sure you read it from front to back. Reading the information can be technical and tedious at times, but you do need to get familiar with the information inside.
You need to get health insurance so that you are protected, in case anything happens. If you do not have health insurance and break an arm, you will have to pay for the medical bills, out of pocket. A visit to the emergency room can cost over $10,000. Most people cannot afford such a hefty bill and end up in extreme financial straits because they did not have health insurance.
Even if you have health insurance, don’t be afraid to negotiate with your doctor for your out of pocket costs. Some policies carry a high co-pay, especially for hospital stays and surgeries. Many doctors will reduce your total cost for these things if you ask in their office.
For the greatest savings when using your health insurance policy, try to avoid using an Emergency Room unless absolutely necessary. Most health insurance policies charge the highest co-pay or deductible for an Emergency Room visit. Your out of pocket will be much lower if you can see your family physician, or even use an Urgent Care facility instead.
If you have questions regarding insurance coverage, you may want to seek out an independent insurance agent. An agent can help you with the enrollment process and also answer any questions you have about private insurance coverage. These agents also know the state laws and regulations which can help if you have any questions.
If you suddenly lose your job and apply to COBRA, you can use your health spending account funds to cover the cost of your monthly premiums. This can help you through the tough times, but ensure that you have a plan for when your HSA runs out and you have to pay out of pocket.
Self-employed workers can claim their health insurance premiums as a deductible expense on income tax. Medical expenses can only be taken if they exceed 7.5% of your already adjusted gross income amount, while your premiums can be taken right out of your gross income no matter how much they add up to.
Don’t settle on the first health insurance package that you stumble upon. If you do some research about what is available to you, you will most likely be able to come away with a better rate. There are a lot of options out there for you to compare to see what would work best for you and your budget.
Health insurance may be complicated, but knowing what you are doing makes it easier to understand. You just have to work on getting the information you need. If you implement what you’ve learned here, you’ll be ready to tackle the insurance world one step at a time!