Ways To Save Money On Health Costs In 2019

October 9, 2018

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Open enrollment for your employer's health insurance plan for next year is just around the corner and as it shouldn't be a huge surprise that in many cases, you will pay more for it.  The average deductible for an individual now stands at $1,573, up 53% from 2013, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's 2018 Employer Benefits Survey. One-quarter of workers with insurance are in plans with a deductible of at least $2,000, up from 15% five years ago. Even as their costs have gone up, companies still cover the bulk of the cost—on average, 82% of the cost for a single person and 71%for those on family plans. But even with higher costs, there are some ways you could lower your premiums during open enrollment.  First don't automatically renew. Most workers stick with the same options year after year, but you can often save money by switching to a new plan. Plan benefits change frequently. Participating doctors are added and deleted, and drug formularies—the lists of prescription medications a plan covers—are revised. Many companies offer one-on-one counseling to discuss plan choices on the phone, so take advantage of it! Estimate your healthcare needs. With that number in mind you will be able to make an informed decision between, say, a plan with a high deductible and one with a low one. Of course, no one has a crystal ball to see into the future, but the amount you and other family members spent on healthcare this year is a good indicator of about how much you’ll spend next year. If you quickly hit your deductible, choosing a plan with a higher premium and a lower deductible could save you money overall. Don’t focus on low premiums. It’s tempting to try to save money by choosing a plan with the lowest monthly premium, but that's only one part of what you pay for health insurance. Consider co-pays and co-insurance as you are generally responsible for those costs even after you’ve met your deductible. And remember many services are offered for free. Contrary to what is in the news, many of the Affordable Care Act provisions are still available, at no charge, as long as you stay within your network. Services from colonoscopies and vaccinations to depression screening and nutrition counseling. CLICK HERE for a full list of eligible services.

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

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