Let’s face it: health insurance is expensive. That’s why many people opt to buy high-deductible health plans, which cost less every month. The downside? High-deductible plans make you pay full price for most of your medical care. If you don’t feel like you’re getting your money’s worth out of your high-deductible plan, read on for our cash-saving tips.
What is a high-deductible health plan?
First things first: a deductible is the amount of money you have to spend out-of-pocket before your insurance company will start covering some of your costs. Typically, the lower your deductible, the more expensive your health plan.
A high-deductible health plan is any health insurance plan with a deductible greater than $1,500 for an individual or $2,700 for a family. On average, though, deductibles tend to be much higher than that, typically around $4,300 for an individual and $8,000 for a family.
If you’re not sure what your plan’s deductible is, you can usually find out by looking at your insurance card or by Googling “[Your plan name] Summary of Benefits.”
Money-saving tip #1: Use a Health Savings Account
If you have a high-deductible plan, you most likely qualify to get a Health Savings Account (HSA). Any money you save in your HSA is tax-free and can only be used on medical expenses. HSAs are a great financial tool for anyone with a high-deductible, saving you big at tax time and helping you reserve funds for unexpected medical bills.
Money-saving tip #2: Use Your Plan’s Free Benefits
All Affordable Care Act-compliant health plans come with fully covered services that help you stay healthy. As long as you visit a doctor in your health insurance network, you can get these services at no cost:
Annual well-woman visits, including pap smears
Mammograms (for women over 40)
Diabetes and cholesterol screenings
Vision and hearing screenings (for children)
Money-saving tip #3: Price Shop for Affordable Care
If you’re on a high-deductible plan, you’ll be paying full price for most of your medical services… but that doesn’t mean you can’t shop around. Every health care facility, including pharmacies, lab/imaging facilities, doctors’ offices, and more, will charge different prices for the same services. Here are a few ways to find affordable options:
Only go to the ER if it’s an actual emergency. Hospitals have special staff and equipment, and they charge accordingly. 7 in 10 people who go to the ER could be treated somewhere else! If your health issue is not an emergency, head to an urgent care. Corner Clinic, for example, saves you an average of almost $2,000 over the ER.
Ask medical providers for their cash prices. Sometimes, doctors, pharmacies, and more will discount the cost of your care if you pay cash up front. This could be a good option for the occasional prescription and one-time specialist visit. Have an HSA? Use your savings to pay these bills.
Get your lab work and x-rays at Corner Clinic. At Corner Clinic, we charge fixed prices for our services. This can save you hundreds of dollars on blood tests, x-rays, and more. Plus, we help you apply your visit cost to your deductible, so you’re still working towards those health insurance savings.
Want to learn more about what we do? Check out our clinic in St George!