When it comes to our health insurance, we want to make sure that our health coverage not only covers us in case of any sudden medical event but also doesn’t crush our bottom line.
From paying down high deductibles to sudden leaps in copays, it is important to range vigilant for any sudden leaps in your health insurance coverage costs. However, there are ways to keep an eye on your insurer and make sure you’re in the know about a change in your premiums without any added exclusions to your policy.
Your Health Insurance Policy
It falls on your insurance company to alert you to any forthcoming changes in your out-of-pocket cost, as well as your employers if you have a private medical insurance plan through your workplace. When evaluating your health insurance plan, look into the layout to make sure there are no added exclusions on your plan or any differential from your prior year’s policy.
In the United States, health insurance premiums and copays are expected to increase on employer-based plans anywhere from 3 to 4.5 percent. This surge in costs among major insurance companies is brought on by the Coronavirus outbreak, and what has become a growing uncertainty for the future of vital medical care. With the disruption in non-emergency care brought on by the COVID crisis, there is potential for rebates from health insurance companies. Some Medicare supplements through employers are seeing roughly 15 percent rebates under the Affordable Care Act.
How Premiums Are Determined
Health insurance companies calculate the cost of paying for healthcare, along with operating costs, to determine premiums for individual health insurance plans. Your premium is the income that health insurers bring in to cover all of these expenses. That number can go up through inflation, but health insurance plans can also increase premiums due to a number of other factors.
New technologies and developments on the medical research front have also led to a higher price in health insurance, as these costly efforts and the creation of specialized medication have impacted the cost of signing up for a policy within the open enrollment period.
Your health insurance company will calculate cost by developing consumer profiles and figuring out which of their insurance policies best fits that particular group. An insurer will look into the average number of visits to a primary health care provider and the number of vaccinations in the case of a child. However, for patients of a certain age, it goes beyond standard checkups. Health insurance companies will look into bone scans, colonoscopies, and blood tests for diabetes and cholesterol.
Lowering Premium Cost
While inflation and rising medical expenses can lead premiums to increase in private health insurance plans, there are efforts that any insured person can take to reduce their out-of-pocket costs.
During the annual open enrollment period, you should take time to crank out the calculator to figure out the price of your health insurance coverage. This is especially important when changing jobs or type of health insurance policy. In addition to evaluating higher and lower premiums in alignment with deductibles, you should also look into incentives offered by your coverage.
Many health insurers offer discounts for people who don’t smoke and exercise regularly, while also offering wellness programs and incentives for healthier behaviors. Healthier people are also encouraged to look into catastrophic care insurance, which comes with lower premiums. In some cases, your income may be low enough to qualify for government-run health insurance coverage like Medicare or Medicaid.
There is also the option of a health savings account, in which employers set aside a certain amount of funds for patients to use solely for certain medical expenses under a health plan. It’s important to note that this time of account is actually tax-deductible and can later benefit your bottom line.