Health insurance has become an increasingly hot topic, mainly due to the rising cost of major medical health insurance, which has been growing at twice the rate of inflation. Although this can take a bite out of your personal budget, there are steps you can take to lower your own major medical expenses.
Shop Around for the Best Rates and Coverage
Competition is increasing between insurance companies and their premiums vary widely. So it’s smart to shop for major medical insurance quotes from several companies. You’re almost certain to find a number of cheap health insurance plans available. Before you make your decision, evaluate each plan carefully to ensure that the insurance coverage is designed for your needs, and the money you save isn’t offset by inadequate coverage, high deductibles, or other drawbacks.
Cut Your Prescription Drug Costs
Although prescriptions drugs can be expensive, if you purchase prescriptions drugs on a regular basis, you can save money by ordering your prescriptions through the mail through a traditional or online pharmacy. If you belong to a prescription drug plan, you may be able to get a three-month supply of your prescription drug through the mail for the same price you’d pay for a one-month supply at your neighborhood pharmacy. Also, ask your pharmacist or doctor to recommend a less-expensive generic drug whenever possible. If you are on Medicare for your medical insurance, inquire about Medicare’s new “Plan D” prescription drug plan.
Thoroughly Check Your Medical Bills
Make sure that every bill accurately reflects the procedures you have undergone and takes into account any applicable medical insurance coverage you may have. Contact the billing office if you believe you may have found a mistake. Be persistent about having the bill corrected or receiving a solid explanation of the billing item in question. If you’ve received an explanation of benefits from your insurance company that you believe is wrong, ask the company to review your insurance claim and continue to follow up until you’re satisfied.
Look for Tax Breaks and Track Your Medical Expenses
You may be able to deduct certain medical expenses from your taxes if the itemized total of your medical expenses exceeds 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. Allowable expenses include everything from healthcare services to eyeglasses and hearing aids. Keep track of these expenses if you think you might be able to deduct them on your income-tax return.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
The easiest and most basic way to keep your major medical expenses low, while enhancing your life in general, is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Take advantage of wellness programs that offer advice on nutrition and reducing stress, have regular checkups, maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and join the growing number of people who are quitting smoking. Medical insurance is good, but staying healthy is better. Learn how easy and convenient shopping for health insurance can be.