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How to Save Money on Health Insurance
Date:12/11/2008

When it comes to health insurance quotes, there are no easy discounts because of where you live or whether you served in the military, but that doesn't mean saving money is totally out of your control.  Here are a few things you can do to maximize your health insurance dollar:

Do the Math: While a plan with a lower premium may be available to you, be aware that lower premiums generally come with either higher co-pays (the part you pay out-of-pocket at every doctor visit) or fewer covered services. Do the math to make sure a less expensive plan will really save you money. You'll want to compare total costs, plus all co-pays, and costs for any non-covered services you think you might use during the plan year. Depending on the policy is written, a higher premium might actually save you money by giving you lower co-pays and more covered services.

Join the Company Plan: If your employer offers group health insurance, take advantage of it. Such policies are generally much less expensive than buying individual insurance from the same insurer because your employer has negotiated a group discount. As well, you should be sure that your portion of the health insurance premium is a pre-tax deduction from your check. When such items are deducted from your gross income, it reduced the amount of income that is taxed, giving you more to take home.

Be Flexible: As long as you're taking advantage of your employer's benefit package, be sure to sign up for their flexible spending plan, if there is one. Doing so gives you the ability to direct a pre-tax portion of your income to an account that you can then use to pay for medical expenses insurance doesn't cover. This includes co-pays, some over-the-counter medications, and some medical devices. If you plan allows it, glasses or contact lenses may even be covered.
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