We all know that health is wealth. It’s one of the things you must spend on as needed. This is why health insurance is a necessity for those who can afford it. But if you’re paying for something you may or may not need in the future, you might be hesitant about a big outright sum. Sure, health insurance is important, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pay less for it!

Here are ways you can reduce the amount you pay for your health finance safety net!

1. Shop across multiple health insurance policies

Before committing to a health insurance plan, shop for a variety of costs you can afford. It’s important to know the following health insurance terms, especially regarding your dues. There is a maximum out of pocket cost included in your policy. This sets the ceiling for how much you are willing to pay for the entirety of the policy.

  • Premium – This is the cost of your insurance, and essentially your investment towards future medical expenses. You have to pay a regular premium whether or not you file any claims. A higher premium usually means more extensive benefits, but you can definitely find a great deal without spending your entire budget.
  • Deductible – This is another regular payment that’s part of your insurance policy. However, this one doesn’t go to your insurer. Instead, it’s part of the medical expenses that you pay before the insurance kicks in. Usually, this is on top of a co-insurance where you pay a percentage of insured claims when your deductible runs out.
  • Co-pay – This is the amount you pay for all your insurance claims. Each insurance claim – consult, emergency, or medicine – will require you to pay this amount before the insurer handles the rest of the cost.

 

Considering which of these out-of-pocket dues you’re willing to spend or skimp on would mean looking at your health in the past, present, and future. Evaluating your health care needs will allow you to choose the best insurance policy for you and even your family. For example, invest in a high premium plan if you think you’d be needing consultations and physical exams regularly, thrift on it if you’ll only be needing insurance for emergencies and one-time exams.

How To Choose And Use Prepaid Health Cards

2. Buy a long-term policy

A yearly premium is oftentimes cheaper than a monthly one. This is the benefit you get for giving your insurer a year-long (or longer) customer. It’s also a good thing for you if you’re settled with a good insurance policy that you only have to renew once a year or two.

mother and daughter

3. Get family insurance

Paying for a single plan may be costly enough. You might think that paying for an entire family would be more expensive. However, getting a group plan for your family, much like an employer does for their employees, will cost much less per-person premium. The same insurance policy applies to each member of the group, but the cost is driven down by the number of members. You’re getting this deal for giving your insurer multiple customers at once!

4. Choose high deductible, co-insurance, and co-pay when applicable

Choosing a plan with a high deductible most likely means a cheaper premium than a low-deductible one. A high deductible health plan (HDHP) is good for when you plan on spending your deductible on multiple consults. That way, the deductible won’t be wasted and the insurance will apply right after for succeeding consults, treatments, or medication.

If you feel you’re relatively healthy and won’t file insurance claims unless for an emergency, then increasing co-insurance and co-pays are the way to go. This way, you pay only for when you need the medical intervention, and not spend much on the regular payments when you won’t even need the coverage that often.

medicine in cart

5. Go generic on medication

For consultations involving doctor prescriptions, you might be prescribed a medicine brand according to the doctor’s discretion. However, if you’re trying to meet a certain budget window, ask your doctor to write the generic name of the medicine, or ask your pharmacist for the generic drug upon purchase. This allows you to reduce medical costs, and consequently your co-pays and co-insurances.

6. Use your PhilHealth membership alongside your insurance plan

The hospital would deduct your PhilHealth benefits to your bills before your out-of-pocket, and then the insurance! More savings are always optimal, right? Besides, PHP 2,400 for the indigent citizen and a maximum of PHP 3,600 annually for high-earning members is a small premium to pay in addition to a private insurer’s premium.

7. Review coverage before treatment

It’s important to read the fine print in any document that you sign, especially your insurance. You don’t want to come to a hospital to be treated only to be issued a huge bill afterward because the insurer didn’t cover it. Familiarizing yourself with your policy will give your peace of mind knowing whether your hospital visit is insured or not. If it’s not, you will at least be prepared for the bill. 

Here are other tips for maximizing your insurance benefits:

  • Avoid emergency room (ER) consultations. This is helpful for discounted consultation benefits. Emergency rooms are open 24/7 and are mostly used for, well, emergency. Thus, ER consultations are usually more expensive than those during clinic hours. If you’re not coming in for an urgent case, waiting a few hours for a clinic consultation will definitely save you a few bills.
  • Maximize one-time benefits covered by your insurer. Usually, these are dental examinations or annual physical check-ups. It’s only right to get what you’re paying for.
  •  Go only to your insurer’s affiliated health care providers. This is why you should pick an insurer with nearby affiliated clinics. Prevent unwanted costs checking if insured doctors, hospitals, and clinics are nearby.

 

burger vs fruit

8. Take care

This is the surest way of reducing your health insurance costs by reducing necessary hospital visits. It’s important to keep both mind and body healthy now, more than ever.

It’s hard to know when the next big pandemic will come. It’s just as hard to predict when you might need emergency medical care, and not everyone financially prepares for the unknown. It’s helpful, now more than ever, to know that if healthcare comes breaking your bank. 

Find the best insurance policies through GoBear today, and start investing and saving on your health today!

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GoBear team

GoBear team

GoBear Team - Our content creators collaborate to come up with finance articles that will make financial literacy a joy to learn and financial security an attainable goal.

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