Apart from comparing plans side by side, find out how you can get an affordable health policy without skimping on coverage.
How can I pay less for health insurance?
In general, the best way to pay less for health insurance is to find a plan that combines an affordable monthly premium with coverage that's adequate to help you pay for medical expenses. The plan that helps you save the most isn't necessarily the policy with the lowest monthly payment.
One way to lower your health premium is to increase your deductible — the amount you pay out of pocket before your health insurance kicks in. High-deductible plans, also known as catastrophic health insurance, are intended to help young and healthy people save on annual premiums. If you buy one of these plans, you'll pay less in the short term. But keep in mind that an unforeseen accident or injury could end up costing you more than you'd pay with a traditional plan.
Another way to save on health insurance is to compare rates side by side. You can compare up to 10,000 plans through our partner eHealthInsurance.
Do you offer cheap health insurance?
You can shop for the lowest monthly payment, but it's important to consider more than just your premium to protect your finances. Cheap health insurance plans tend to come with a higher amount of risk, which means you could easily spend more for health care in the long run.
If you're generally healthy, you may want to shop for a policy with a higher deductible. Higher deductibles tend to reduce the cost of the policy, because you're assuming a bigger part of the risk.
On the other hand, choosing a health plan with a lower deductible could save you money in the event of unexpected medical expenses.
Can I save more money by going through a health insurance company directly?
Government regulations ensure that you'll never see 2 different prices for the same policy, regardless of how you buy it. When you compare health insurance plans through eHealthInsurance, the premiums you see are the same ones you'd get from the companies themselves.
Finding the right plan
What key factors should I consider when shopping for health insurance?
Start with your financial situation. Do you have a consistent amount of money in savings, or do you count on the next paycheck? If you've saved a lot, you may be able to afford health insurance with a high deductible and a lower monthly payment. But if you're one of the millions without financial reserves in the bank, then a low-deductible policy may be a better fit. Look for a policy with an affordable monthly payment and a low deductible that will protect you in case of unexpected illness or injury.
If you visit doctors often, you may want to look for a policy with a slightly higher monthly payment and a lower copayment and deductible, which could help you spend less per visit in the long run.
If you've spent a lot on health care in the past, make sure any new plan you buy covers specific expenses, like prescriptions, at a price you can afford. Due to the unpredictability of health care expenses, it's worth paying a few extra dollars per month to ensure you're protected from exorbitant costs.
How much does my medical history affect my health plan's premium?
Your medical history is one factor used to determine how much you pay for your policy. If an insurance company considers you to be high-risk due to your medical history, your premium could be significantly higher than someone considered low-risk. If you have what's known as a pre-existing condition, you may find it harder to secure health insurance.
When you apply for a health plan, you'll be asked to provide details on the medical histories of everyone on the policy. In some cases, insurers may ask that you submit a doctor's evaluation before approving your health care.
If you're concerned that your history will prevent you from finding an affordable policy, we can help.
Can my health plan give me discounted rates on medical expenses?
In many cases, yes. Your insurance company works with health-care providers to negotiate a fair rate for services. This rate can be significantly lower than what you'd pay for the same service without your health plan in place. If you have an HMO-type plan, make sure a doctor or hospital is in your network in order to get the best rates.
Can I get tax breaks from my health insurance?
This depends on your plan. Flexible spending accounts, like a health savings account (HSA), are typically pre-tax accounts, meaning you can deposit into them before income or Social Security taxes are applied. You can then use this account to pay copayments and other expenses, like prescriptions.
If you're self-employed, you might be able to deduct your annual insurance premium from your company's gross income for tax purposes. You may be able to deduct insurance expenses for your spouse and children as well. There are some restrictions to self-employed tax breaks, however. For example, your annual deduction can't exceed your business' income for the year.
For advice regarding your specific circumstances, consult a tax professional.