Post about "health care"

12 Ways to Cut Health Care Costs

Good genes can go a long way toward helping you stay healthy. And the healthier you are, the less your health insurance is likely to cost.But if you drew the short end of the stick (so to speak) when it comes to genetic inheritance, you can still slash health care costs–and improve your health–by following a few simple guidelines:Choose your health insurer wisely. Don’t just pick the one with the cheapest plan; aim instead for a policy with the benefits you need at a price you can afford.Know what your health plan covers–and what it doesn’t–and follow the rules. Double-check whether the services and providers you need are covered under your plan ahead of time…before you receive treatment. Then make sure you follow the appropriate procedures regarding appointments, claims and referrals.Coordinate health insurance plans. If you and your spouse both work and have employer-sponsored health plans, be careful to avoid duplicate coverage. This can drain your wallet, causing you to pay more for benefits than is really necessary. If you do decide to maintain both coverages, however, make sure you understand how the plans will mesh together…especially if one or both of you belongs to an HMO.Plan ahead. Clarify which doctors, hospitals and emergency services belong to your plan’s network–and under what circumstances you may use them. Write this information down, and keep it close by in case of emergency. You’ll avoid excessive out-of-pocket expenses and make things easier on yourself when it comes to filing claims.Use generic drugs, rather than name brand. Your health insurer considers generics “cost effective,” so they’re willing to bear a greater percentage of their cost than that of name brand drugs. You can cut costs by an average of $10-$40 per prescription by using generics, whenever possible.Take advantage of health care spending accounts. These enable you to pay for certain out-of-pocket medical expenses, such as dental and vision care, on a pre-tax basis.Lose weight. According to recent studies, being obese can add as much as $395 per year to your health care costs. That’s more than smoking, aging 20 years, or drinking excessively! Not only is being overweight bad for your health; it can also make finding good health insurance coverage difficult.Quit smoking. The cost of smoking escalates your health care expenses by one-third over your lifetime. This means greater claims risk for your insurer–and higher health insurance premiums for you. So kick the habit and save your money for other things. You’ll live longer, and get cheaper health insurance rates, too!Increase your exercise level. This is also a great way to get healthy, live longer and save money on your health insurance.Participate in free or low-cost community health services. Many HMOs and local departments of health offer free blood pressure checks, flu shots, classes on nutrition and diet, and other lifestyle programs. Take advantage of these resources to help you stay healthy and active.Raise your health insurance deductible or co-pay level. You can lower your health insurance premiums by raising the amount you pay for your deductible or co-pay. Just make sure you have enough money saved to cover the increased expenses up front.Make health insurers compete for your business. Use an online shopping service like to get free quotes, competitive rates and great health insurance coverage. This puts the choice in yourhands–and gives you more control over your health insurance decisions.Finding cheap health insurance isn’t easy…but it can be done.So take these tips to heart, and do what it takes get the coverage you deserve. You’ll stick around longer–and so will your money!