How to keep your health care costs under control
With the health care system increasingly struggling to keep up with rising health care spending, the U.S. has become a more expensive place to live.
But while the national average has grown by more than 7% over the past decade, that has come at a cost to some communities.
Here are seven ways you can save money on your health insurance.
Choose a Health Insurance Plan from a Smaller Provider.
Some insurers offer a low-cost plan, while others offer plans with more coverage.
In many states, however, you have to buy a new plan each year, which is more expensive than buying a regular plan.
For some families, this is a good way to save money while still getting the best value out of your health plan.
Find out how to choose a health insurance plan from a smaller provider and how to compare rates.
Take Advantage of a Community Health Centers Program.
These health centers, which offer health services to underserved populations, are a great way to reduce your out-of-pocket health care expenses.
Community health centers provide medical services in underserved areas, including people with chronic illnesses, disabilities, and the elderly.
They also offer preventive health care and cancer screenings, as well as free dental services.
Look for Affordable Coverage in Your State.
In addition to the Affordable Care Act, many states have their own health insurance exchanges that provide plans that include coverage for many low-income people.
Many of these plans are more affordable than the national averages, but be sure to check with your state health insurance commissioner to see which plan is best for you.
Look For Discounted Plans in Your Local Market.
You can save even more money by shopping around for health insurance coverage through local health insurance marketplaces.
These marketplaces let people shop for insurance plans through state exchange officials, and offer discounts for certain services and lower costs for others.
For example, some markets offer a lower deductible than other markets.
Find a Private Plan.
If you don’t have the financial means to buy health insurance yourself, you can work with a private health insurer to purchase insurance.
You don’t need to go through a health insurer, but it is important to understand the terms of your coverage before you decide to purchase.
If your plan does not include coverage of essential services such as maternity care, mental health treatment, or prescription drugs, you might want to talk to a provider about that option.
Find an Affordable Plan in Your Community.
You might be able to find a cheaper plan through a local health care center, which usually has lower prices and lower deductibles than the plans offered by larger insurers.
The difference is that the plans are less comprehensive, and you may have to pay a co-pay.
If you can’t find a health plan that is affordable or offers health benefits that are as good as those offered by a larger plan, you should contact your state’s insurance commissioner.
These are just some of the ways you may be able save money, and finding the right health plan is the first step toward a healthy and secure retirement.