How can I lower my health insurance cost?
Who is this for?
This information can help you find ways to save money on your health insurance costs.
Raise your deductible
Increase your coinsurance percentage
Choose a health insurance plan with a health savings account
Choose an in-network doctor
Join a professional association
Review your health insurance needs regularly
A deductible is the amount you pay for health care services before your health insurance begins to pay. Usually, a health insurance plan with a high deductible amount will have a lower monthly premium.
While a high deductible might seem like a lot of money to pay, you won’t always be paying toward the deductible. Most health insurance plans cover basic preventive care like doctor visits without requiring you to pay a deductible.
So if you’re healthy with no chronic illnesses, don’t go to the doctor too often and don’t take regular presecriptions, you probably won’t pay much toward your deductible. And you’ll save money by paying less for your premium each month.
But before you switch to a high-deductible plan, know the risks. For instance, if you’re injured or get seriously ill, you’ll most likely have to pay the entire deductible amount before your insurance begins to pay. You’ll want to be sure you have enough money to cover the entire deductible amount. However, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan does have two individual plans that waive the deductible for accidental injuries: Keep Fit℠ and Young Adult Blue Max℠.
We offer individual health insurance plans that have varied deductible amounts so you can choose the one that’s right for your health needs and budget.
- Flexible Blue II 1500℠ - Light
- Flexible Blue II 2500℠ - Balanced
- Flexible Blue II 5000℠ - Extended
- Keep Fit - Light
- Keep Fit - Balanced
Coinsurance is your share of the costs of a health care service. It’s usually figured as a percentage of the total charge for the service. In most cases, you’ll pay coinsurance plus your deductibles.
Most insurance plans have a coinsurance ratio of 80-20. That means that after you reach your plan deductible, your health insurance company pays 80 percent of the charges and you pay 20 percent.
If you change plans so the ratio you pay is more than 20 percent, you will pay less for your monthly premium.
There is a risk, however. If you’re injured or get sick, you will have to pay more out-of-pocket. But if you’re generally healthy and don’t get sick that often, it may be worth the risk to get lower you premium costs.
Health savings accounts, or HSAs, are accounts that you use to pay for medical expenses. Money you put into the account is usually taken out of your paycheck. That means that you don’t pay any income or social security taxes on what you put into your HSA, which saves you money. If you don’t use all the money in your account by the end of the calendar year, it rolls over to the next year and can earn interest.
Your employer may offer a health care plan that works with an HSA. Or you can buy an individual health insurance policy with a high deductible that is HSA-compatible. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has these health insurance plans that work with HSA accounts:
- Blue Care Network HMO HSA℠ (employer-sponsored)
- Simply Blue℠ (employer-sponsored)
- Flexible Blue II 1500, Flexible Blue II 2500, Flexible Blue II 5000 (for individuals and families)
Going to a doctor or hospital outside of your PPO or HMO network always costs more. Your health insurance company negotiates fees with hospitals and health care professionals to save money and offer the best quality care. Staying in your network means you will pay the lowest percentage for your coinsurance and any extra costs, like lab work or prescription copays.
It’s really pretty simple: If you’re healthy, you won’t pay as much for your health care.
There are lots of things you can do to lead a healthier life:
- Eat well
- Stop smoking
- Get preventive care with regular doctor checkups
- Start a wellness program
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network have individual health insurance plans that offer preventive care at little or no cost. Check out our Individual and Family Plans to find more information on a plan that might work for you.
Did you know you can join a group plan other than the one offered by the company you work for? If you belong to a professional association, see if they offer group insurance to their members. Or join an organization, like your state farm bureau (you don’t even have to be a farmer) that offers insurance at a group rate to its members. You may be able to get insurance at a lower rate than you currently pay.
You may be missing out on savings by sticking with the same health insurance plan you’ve always had. If your health situation has changed or you anticipate a change, like starting a family, it could pay off to shop around.
Things to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a new plan:
- Do you or your children go to the doctor often?
- Do you or your family members take regular prescriptions or have a health issue?
- Are you willing to pay a higher deductible for routine care in order to get lower monthly premiums?
- Are tax breaks important to you?
If you’d like some help sorting out just what you need, you can discuss all your options with a Health Plan Advisor. Just call us at 1-877-469-2583 or fill out a form to request a callback.