Individual and Family

Tips for Saving Money on Health Insurance

Published on June 10, 2017

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Health Insurance Obamacare TipsIn 2017 the average monthly premium for an individual health insurance plan had increased 39% since 2014, the year that major provisions of Obamacare came into effect. Given rate increases like these, it’s no wonder that folks are desperately trying to find ways to save money on health insurance today.”
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Look beyond government-run marketplace for hidden health insurance options – The fact is that a number of major health insurance companies have pulled out of the Obamacare health insurance marketplaces across the country. In certain parts of the country, there’s only one health insurance company to choose from when you shop through the government-run health insurance exchange.
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That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t other options. They’re hiding in plain sight. Take a look at the other health insurance plans available in your area through private online health insurance marketplaces like eHealth.com. There’s no extra charge when you shop through a licensed agent online, and you may find more affordable options that will still meet your coverage requirements under Obamacare rules.
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Stick with your Mom and Dad’s health insurance plan – or don’t! – If you’re under age 26 and your parents are agreeable, you can stay enrolled in your family’s health insurance plan. A lot of young people do this, and if you live close to home and have access to network doctors, it may be your most affordable option.
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However, it’s not always the best choice. If you’re living farther from home and don’t have access to network doctors and medical facilities, you may be paying more for less coverage. It’s also possible that you may be able to find more affordable major medical coverage on your own compared to what your parents’ spend to keep you enrolled. Do the math and see what makes sense – it could save you (or your parents) some serious money!
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Enroll in a catastrophic health insurance plan – Here’s another one for young people. If you’re younger than age 30, you qualify to purchase a catastrophic major medical health insurance plan rather than a full-fledged Obamacare plan. Catastrophic plans are specially designed for young people who tend to be healthy and not need medical care very often – but they’ll still provide you with significant health benefits and meet your coverage requirements under Obamacare.
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According to a recent eHealth pricing report, $261 per month was the average premium paid by unsubsidized health insurance eHealth shoppers in the 20-25 age range. However, those who went with catastrophic coverage paid an average monthly premium of only $131.
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Optimize your coverage based on your prescription drugs – While all major medical health insurance plans provide coverage for prescription drugs, which drugs are covered can vary significantly from one plan to another.
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Some health plans place different drugs in different coverage tiers, while others may exclude coverage for one drug but extend coverage for a second one when both are used to treat the same condition. If you’re someone who uses prescription drugs on a regular basis, you can potentially save a lot of money by knowing which plans will cover your personal prescription drug needs at the highest level.
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According to a recent eHealth report, shoppers who used the company’s prescription drug coverage comparison tool when shopping for a new health insurance plan were able to find a median savings of more than $1,600 compared to over-the-counter prices. [SOURCE]
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eHealth’s prescription drug coverage comparison tool allow users to enter their personal drug regimen and see which plans would cover their drug needs with the lowest out-of-pocket cost.
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Consider short-term and packaged medical insurance products if you can’t afford Obamacare coverage: If you simply cannot afford an Obamacare-compliant major medical health insurance plan or don’t qualify for coverage outside open enrollment, you’re not alone. According to eHealth’s data, the average monthly premium for 2017 Obamacare coverage is $378 for an individual without a subsidy.
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However, that doesn’t mean there are no more affordable options. For example, short-term health insurance plans can provide you with temporary coverage for unexpected illness and injuries for an average of $110 per month.
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Some insurance brokers and online marketplaces may also offer packaged medical insurance products. These products often bundle short-term coverage together with other products like accident or critical illness insurance, dental or vision insurance, or telemedicine benefits.
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Packaged medical insurance products offer you more coverage than short-term plans alone, while often being significantly less expensive than Obamacare-compliant major medical plans.
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Just remember that with these – or with anything other than a major medical health insurance plan- you may be subject to an Obamacare tax penalty, and pre-existing conditions and other benefits such as prescription drug coverage or maternity coverage may be excluded. It’s also possible that you may be declined based on your personal medical history.

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