Open Enrollment for health insurance seems like it’s far away, but the time to reevaluate your health insurance plan is quickly approaching. As we move into fall, some of your main questions might revolve around premiums. Will my health insurance premiums increase for 2017? Is there any way I can lower my premiums? Will I need to switch to a new plan?
There’s no way to answer, with any certainty, whether you will want to change health insurance plans. After all, you will make that decision based upon many individual factors. But most people can save money on their health insurance premiums by considering the following changes.
Choose an HMO over a PPO. With a PPO, you can see any doctor you want without a referral. But that convenience costs money. If you rarely need a specialist, or don’t mind obtaining referrals, switching to an HMO can be a smart money-saving strategy.
Choose a plan with a higher deductible. By moving down to a lower-tiered plan, you can save money on premiums while still ensuring compliance with the law. But of course, you will have a higher deductible, so make sure you can afford it. You might consider opening a health savings account if you’re eligible for one, because you can set aside pre-tax money to be used toward your deductible and other healthcare expenses.
Reevaluate your health insurance needs. You might be paying for a healthcare plan that has a lot of fancy bells and you won’t miss services you never used anyway.
Quit smoking. Smokers pay up to 50 percent higher health insurance premiums, so ditching the habit can really save you money.
Consider your spouse’s plan. If both of your employers offer group health insurance plans, it might be cheaper to enroll in a family plan through one workplace, and ditch the other plan.
Make sure you’re getting your full subsidy. If your income or family size changes during the year, make sure to report those changes to your insurer immediately. Some changes, such as a birth or adoption, qualify you for a special enrollment period, during which you can make changes to your plan or access a larger subsidy. There’s no point in paying more for health insurance than you actually have to!
As always, give us a call if you have questions about lowering your health insurance premiums. We can examine your individual situation more closely, and help you locate the insurance options that are most affordable for you.
Remember, Strachota Insurance is a Covered California storefront. We can assist you not only with your Covered California needs, but also with Medicare, Group Plans, and Individual Plans!