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Wednesday, April 18, 2012 |

Keeping Health Insurance Costs Down

I’m currently lucky enough to still be covered under my parents’ health insurance plan, but that luxury won’t last for long. Soon, I’ll have to find my own plan, as my job doesn’t provide one for me. It’ll be somewhat stressful, as it’s a cost I haven’t had to take on for myself yet. When the thought crosses my mind, I tend to worry whether or not I’ll have the know-how to provide a plan that gives me the most coverage for the best price.

However, after reading some articles, I’ve found that there are some things I’ll be able to do that should help me to keep insurance costs down once I’m ready to get my own plan.

There are two tips that seem pretty universal. The first is to stay healthy. That’s not to say that you can’t get sick, but more that it’s important to live a healthy lifestyle. I guess that’s just extra motivation for me to get more exercise, like I’ve been trying to convince myself to do for awhile now! Also, while this isn’t an issue for me at all, people who work in more risky workplaces or have more high-risk lifestyles tend to need more coverage. It’s good to keep that in mind.

The other tip that I come across all the time is to be open-minded and shop around for different plans. I’m sure I’ll probably have people in my family recommending different plans to me, but the truth is that what works for them might not be what works best for me, since our lives are completely different.

There are other, less obvious tips that I’ve come across. One of these is to watch what brands doctors recommend for your prescriptions. Often they recommend brand-name products when you can get the same effects in a generic brand for a lower price and/or smaller co-payment amount. As someone who buys generic-brand products at the grocery store, I can attest to the fact that just because something has a recognizable name doesn’t mean it’s worth the extra cash.

On the more technical side of things, you can also lower your premiums by adjusting your deductible. Raising your deductible allows you to reduce your premium, but also increases the amount of coverage that you are responsible for. So before you adjust your deductible, be sure that you have a good idea of the kind of coverage that you’re going to need and how big of a risk you’re willing to take simply for the sake of lowering your premium.

It’s been two years now since I graduated from school, and I feel like more of a “real person” all the time. I have a feeling that the day I’m finally responsible for my own health insurance is the day I’ll feel like that transition is finally complete!


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