How to Minimize Your Health Care Costs

When choosing a health care plan, many aspects should be taken into consideration, costs being among the most important ones. The key is to firstly understand and determine your needs, lifestyle, how often you actually use medical services along with other available resources; these steps are the foundation that may ultimately assist you in finding a required plan, with the opportunity to lower health care costs. Principally, if the premiums are higher, your out-of-pocket cost will be lower and the other way round. These are some of the most advantageous tips that will aid in health care plan consideration.

  1. Choosing the Right Plan for You 

For any chosen plan, there is a monthly payment that needs to be deposited called a premium, which makes our policy to be active and valid. Some additional costs may arrive after you’ve received medical care. These are named out-of-pocket costs and they may include deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. The most important thing when browsing plan costs is that you determine how often you use these services. If your overall health is considered good and you visit the doctor on rare occasions, the most sensible health care plan is the one with lower premiums. Just be sure to remember that, when settling for the lower premiums, your out-of-pocket costs will be significantly higher, when you do receive the needed medical care. Contrary to this example, if you require more frequent visits to the doctor or medical facilities, be sure to consider paying a little bit more each month, in order to minimize the chronicle need for paying out-of-pocket costs.

  1. Search for In-Network Doctors and Facilities

When in need of medical care, it can be beneficial to search for a provider or facility that’s in your health plan’s network. This network includes facilities, suppliers and providers of health care services that are tied to your insurer by contract. Your chosen insurance company has made an agreement with this network to pay them a certain amount of money for your visits, typically with a discount included. Thanks to those discounts, your visits are less costly when you receive medical care inside the network, contrary to when you use medical services outside the network. When out-of-network providers are used, your insurance might only cover your costs partially or even none at all, depending on the chosen plan. 

  1. Utilize Tech Tools

Some of the health plans out there offer tools and options like uhc.com/transparency and UnitedHealthcare app to help you compare services while shopping for medical services and thus learn how much you might pay for a certain treatment. There are also other wellness-based technologies that may offer incentives for meeting some health objectives. One of these is UnitedHealthcare Motion®, which provides qualified program members to obtain financial rewards yearly by meeting certain daily walk goals. 

  1. Consider Telehealth 

When you require non-emergency care a good thing to consider are virtual visits to your chosen doctor. These online visits actually save you money, since they cost less than regular visits to the emergency room, all the while saving you some time as well. Some of the offered services include tobacco-use counseling and depression screenings. Be sure to check with your health insurance provider if telehealth is one of your options, is it covered and to what extent. 

  1. Secure an HSA

Nowadays, more and more health programs provide plans that include a Health Savings Account (HSA). An HSA represents a personal bank account particularly made for health-related payments. The main benefit of these accounts is a triple tax advantage, which suggests that the  money is deposited pre-tax from your salary; and all the accrual and withdrawals are tax-free, as long as you use the money towards qualified health care services.

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