The cost of your health insurance premiums depend on a variety of factors. Luckily, there are some things you can do to bring the cost of this coverage down, sometimes resulting in significant savings.
Health Insurance Costs
Whether you pay for your own health insurance or have coverage through a plan provided by an employer, there is a good chance that you wish your monthly premiums were not quite so expensive. The cost of health insurance premiums are set by the company issuing the policy and are based on the likelihood of an eventual claim. In other words, the younger and healthier the insured person, the lower likelihood there is of insurance claims. Age and health are not the only two factors taken into consideration when deciding how much health insurance premiums cost, but they do have a huge impact on how much coverage costs.
Get Lower Premiums
Policyholders cannot do anything to affect their chronological age, but there are plenty of steps they can take to lower their premium costs by improving their health.
- Lose weight. Obesity is a significant health risk, but even just a little excess weight can compel an insurer to charge more for health insurance premiums. If you do not fall within your ideal Body Mass Index (BMI), your health insurance company may use that as justification to charge you more every month. Work toward your ideal weight and your premiums may drop and, as an added bonus, you will probably feel healthier, too.
- Stop smoking. Tobacco users may have trouble finding any insurance company to issue them a policy and those who can find an insurer will probably encounter increased premiums over non-smokers. Insurance companies assume that people who smoke are going to get sick more often and have a higher instance of serious illnesses. The higher premiums reflect this risk.
Get active. The benefits of being physically active are numerous, including lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. Being active may also stave off certain injuries and illnesses that inactive people may be more prone to. While you may not get reduced health insurance premiums as a direct result of being physically active, the residual health benefits that come from being active can wind up lowering the premiums.
There are other ways to lower your health insurance premiums that are not necessarily related to the status of your health.
- Accept a high deductible. You will wind up paying more money out-of-pocket before your insurance company starts to foot the bill, but if your main concern is to figure out how to lower health insurance premiums, then this is one option. A major medical insurance policy may be a good option because these policies typically have the lowest monthly premiums. On the other hand, keep in mind that these policies are only designed to kick in after the policyholder has already spent a considerable amount of money out of their own pockets. Consider maintaining a Health Savings Account (HSA) for the amount of your deductible, if possible.
- Buy insurance with a group. The bigger the group buying health insurance, the lower the premiums may be for each policyholder. This is because the healthy policyholders with fewer claims make up for the less healthy policyholders with more frequent claims, in theory. For this reason, buying health insurance through your employer may be much less expensive than a policy you purchase as an individual. If you do not have the option to purchase health insurance through an employer, look into other options including insurance pools or coverage available through professional affiliation associations.
- Shop around. You may not find significant differences from one insurance company to another, but it is still worth it to do some comparison shopping if you are buying a policy as an individual. If you are purchasing health insurance with a group, you may not have a say in which company provides the coverage.
The more coverage you want and the lower the deductible for your coverage, the higher the cost will be for your health insurance. Adjust your policy and work toward better health in order to get the lowest premiums possible.