We’ve gathered some tips on how to make health insurance more affordable. And we’re not just talking about the premium, but the pieces inside your health plan that can either save or cost you money. Here are four obscure things to watch for:
1. Unique Co-Pays: Some plans can have co-pays for ER visits or hospital stays up to $500 – and $250 for outpatient surgery. This is on top of the deductible and co-insurance! Look for plans with lower caps on your co-pay expenses.
2. The Drug Formulary: Make sure the medicines you use are in your plan’s drug formulary – this makes them covered. In some cases we’re seeing plans where half the medicines a person needs aren’t available. Make sure you pick a plan that covers your prescriptions.
3. Drug Coverage and Your Deductible: Look for plans where drug coverage is not subject to the base deductible. Some lower-value plans subject drug coverage to the deductible, thereby exposing you to a lot of extra expense.
4. The Network’s Negotiated Rates: Another important element is the negotiated rates with a plan’s provider network. Most of the more affordable health plans have far less up-front coverage, meaning you will have to meet a fairly large deductible before the majority of your coverage kicks in. Being with a plan that has negotiated lower rates from doctors and hospitals may save an individual or family a lot of money.
As many people know, it’s not always easy to find affordable health insurance. We encourage people to work with an experienced health insurance agent to make sure that when they compare health plans, they select the right one for their particular situation.
While a plan’s monthly premium is important, don’t ignore other pieces of the puzzle! Those other, more obscure elements might cost or save you more than what you pay each month in premium. ”