Health insurance is a big thing these days, what with all of the attention paid to the Affordable Care Act (erroneously referred to as Obamacare), and for good reason: sooner or later, no matter how healthy we are, we all inevitably rack up medical expenses. And since medical expenses are always going up, one catastrophic incident could impoverish an otherwise financially stable, middle-class family.
But here’s the kicker: insurance costs too! So the trick is to get as much coverage as possible, hopefully preparing you and your family for any eventuality, while making sure that you’re saving on family health insurance. Here’s some ways you can save.
Consider an HD Plan
HD in this case stands for High Deductible. In this case, your monthly premiums are lower, but your annual deductible is higher. The deductible usually runs at least $2000 for a family plan, but the good news is that the deductible applies to the family unit as a whole, not the individuals.
This is a good plan if your family is in otherwise good health and doesn’t avail itself of medical care very often. Hint: if you have infants and/or toddlers, you may want to think twice about this option, considering that it feels like the average parent ends up spending most of his or her life at the doctor’s office.
Health Savings Account
Usually found in conjunction with an HD Plan, a Health Savings Account helps you save money in a pre-tax account for the purpose of defraying possible medical costs in the future. Not only is this money coming out of your pre-tax income (which may mean you end up paying less taxes come April 15th), but the unused funds can be used for your retirement.
Go No Frills
Not the most favorable option, but you can always simply go for minimal coverage. It would protect you from the above-mentioned finance-destroying disasters, but the routine things are barely covered, if at all.
No, we’re not trying to be wise-guys here. If you and your family adopt a healthy lifestyle, including exercise and eating right, you’re less likely to need the services of a doctor. Granted, all of the gluten-free snacks and toddler exercise won’t help one iota if little Billy shoves a live hornet up his nose, but by leading a healthier lifestyle, you increase the likelihood that you won’t need much in the way of medical services.
Try A Private Plan
Even if your job offers a health plan and helps subsidize it, the employer doesn’t pay the same generous amount for your family members as it does for you. You may want to consider forgoing the family plan at work and check into private health insurance instead.
Discount Medical Plans
Hey, you can save money on groceries at big box stores and buyers’ clubs, why not health insurance? These plans charge a monthly fee, and in return, the participating care providers offer a substantial discount for the care they give. Naturally, you will be responsible for paying the outstanding balance yourself.
Do Your Research
Politics aside (please!), it’s worth your while to brush up on what exactly changes with the passing of the Affordable Care Act. For instance, our family found out that certain prescriptions that we had originally paid for are now covered 100%. It may be cliché, but stay informed, and know your rights.