When looking for online health insurance plans, what do you notice the first? It is of course the premium rate and cost. You may realize that the cost of medical insurance premium is increasing every year because of the rising healthcare expenses. So, how can you save on premium and make the best out of the health plan? Here are some tips that will help you achieve this goal.
- Drop What You Do Not Need
When looking out for health plans, you will come across additional coverage options than what is included in standard coverage. To avail these add-ons you have to pay a ‘little’ more. If you think your medical insurance premium is increasing due to these add-ons, and these are something you can do without then do not think twice before dropping them. Cutting out on unnecessary add-ons will reduce the premium amount.
- In-Network Hospitals and Doctors
You should not only worry about the rising health insurance cost but quality of treatment that you avail as well. Check out the complete list of networked doctors and hospitals across insurance companies for a particular medical policy. If the provider does not have hospitals you usually visit in its network, then you may want to look for other options, or enquire about the reliability of the hospitals in the list.
In-network hospitals offer the facility of ambulance service, cashless settlement, etc, without bearing heavily on your pockets or raising the premium amount. So choose a provider who can include maximum of hospitals and doctors that are within the circle of your preferred area to make the most of the plan.
- Asses Your Health Insurance Needs at Intervals
You may miss out on savings because you do not review your online health insurance plans but continue with the same year after year. With time, your health needs may change. From being single, you may move to marry and have own kids. There may be shift in medications and other screenings. All these have to be covered in the insurance plan. So what do you do? You must assess your medical insurance needs regularly,
For instance, you have an individual health plan, but now with a spouse and child, you can consider a family floater plan. Choosing such a policy can lower the premium amount and provide adequate cover to not just you but your family.
- Port Your Insurance to another Insurer
Are you happy with the existing health plan? Is the service and facility up to your expectation? Do you think it is justified to pay for what you are getting? If you are overall not satisfied with the current policy, then you can port these to another insurer. You can do so only during renewal and not in between. If the same plan with its benefits is costing less at another company, then you may want to switch over.
Even if the premium amount is the same, but the services and processes are better and more transparent, it is a good deal. It may take up to 15 days for the new insurer, after completing the process of porting the policy, to give you the proposal. In case the new insurer refuses to offer the policy because it does not meet the underwriting norms, then you can always go back to the old insurer.
- Give Up Bad Health Habits
Insurance premium is based on your health and pre-existing ailments. The provider will take into account your lifestyle, habits of smoking and drinking to determine the premium. Usually, smokers are charged with higher amount of premium. As healthcare and insurance costs are rising, you should try to keep off smoking and other bad health habits, to reduce the rate of premium. Not only will it help you save on the policy, but keep you fit as well.
- Choose a Higher Voluntary Deductible
If you are confident about your health, then you can choose a higher voluntary deductible. This is an amount you pay from your own on any claim you raise. For instance, if the healthcare liability comes to Rs. 50,000 but you have chosen Rs. 30,000 as deductible, then the insurance company has to reimburse only Rs. 20,000 to you. At the time of purchasing online health insurance plans, you can choose the deductible amount. Make sure you select an amount that you can afford.
Choosing a higher deductible will reduce the premium cost drastically, as insurance provider may consider you less of a liability. This way, you can save a lot on yearly premium and hope for additional discounts when you renew the policy.
- Do Not Miss Out on Health Screenings and Tests
As you age, your health problems may increase. When young, you may avoid going for regular health screenings and tests. But after a point, missing out on these may actually cost you a lot. If you have a pre-existing ailment, then it is better to go for a regular check-up and take care of your health, so as to take preventive care when needed.
By doing so, you can avoid the financial, mental, and physical stress of going through a treatment that could have been avoided by being careful beforehand. Patients with diabetes, hypertension, metabolism disorder, or other lifestyle conditions must especially visit their doctor for screenings as decided, so as to keep their health in check.
An early diagnosis can save you from that cardiac treatment. The more number of claims the insurance company fulfils for you, the higher will be the insurance premium and vice-versa.
- Change the Co-Insurance Ratio
Your Co-insurance ratio is the amount you will pay after meeting the deductible. The usual ratio for online health insurance plans is 80/20. Thus, after paying your deductible on medical costs, the insurer will pay 80% and you will pay 20% of the remaining bill amount. You can tweak this ratio on request, pay more in return, and avail a lower health insurance premium. But like deductible, you have to compare the costs versus risks, before increasing the co-insurance ratio.
- Switch to Generic Medications
If you have been taking lot of medications lately, then the cost of the same must be focussed on. Branded medicines cost more than generic versions. So you can ask your doctor to prescribe you generic versions than branded ones, and this way raise claim for a smaller amount. The lesser are you a liability to the insurer, lower will be the premium amount.
Like healthcare costs, the costs for health plans are also increasing, so you should be prepared better to deal with financial fallout by following the above-mentioned tips.