How To Handle Higher Healthcare Premiums & Deductables

November 21, 2017

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It's the time of year when you pick your insurance plans for the next year and there's a good chance youer premiums and deductables have increased.  Employees are being asked to kick in an average of 3% more this year for a family plan, according to the 2017 Employer Health Benefits Survey by Kaiser Family Foundation which is a nonprofit organization focused on health policy issues.  However employee's premiums have gone up 19% since 2012 aqnd up 55% up from a decade go. The good news is that employers still pay the bulk of the cost of insurance for workers and there's lots you can do to reduce the pain of paying for your medical needs during open enrollment. The biggest mistake you can do is to automatically renew last year's plan. Take a look at your medical costs from this year and see if switching to a lower premium/higher deductable plan is worth the savings.  Most insurance companies offer a cost-estimator tool through their insurer but only about 13% of people use it to find the best plan. So explore your insurer’s website or call to ask if a cost-estimator tool is available to you. If your insurer doesn’t offer one, you can find one online. Consumer Reports says to pick your primary care doctor carefully as there can be a coorelation between their fees and  what you pay for other specialized services you may need. Research found that total annual spending for patients who chose a lower-cost primary care physician was $690 less than for those who chose a doctor who charged more for office visits. Fianlly, provisions in the Affordable Care Act allow for plenty of preventative medical services for men, women and children that are free to use as long as you stay in your network [CLICK HERE]. From colonoscopies and vaccinations to depression screening and nutrition counseling, use these free service to help save you money instead of an office visit or trip to the ER.

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

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