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How can I lower my health insurance costs?

There are several ways to lower or at least contain your health insurance costs.
  1.  Choose the best plan for your needs. Make sure the plan offers the coverage you and your family need at the lowest possible costs. For many families, choosing a health maintenance organization (HMO) plan is a more cost-effective option than choosing a preferred provider organization (PPO) plan or an exclusive provider organization (EPO) plan.
  2. Consider a plan with a high deductible, but make sure you could pay the full deductible in a year if you needed to. High deductible plans typically have lower premiums.
  3. See if you qualify for a premium tax credit that could lower your monthly premiums at https://www.healthcare.gov/lower-costs/. Your annual income and the state in which you live are factors in determining whether you qualify for this credit.
  4. Seek medical services in-network whenever possible. Costs of in-network providers are typically lower and more likely to be covered by your plan than out-of-network providers.
  5. Don't go to the emergency room for minor health problems.  If you are experiencing a life- or limb-threatening condition, call 911 or get to the emergency room immediately. If you have twisted your ankle, have an earache or a rash or some other non-emergency, you are much better off seeking care from your own doctor or a walk-in clinic. You will probably not have to wait as long for care, and emergency rooms typically charge much more than non-emergency facilities; you may have a higher copay and other charges.
  6. Make the most of your coverage by having preventive care services (check-ups, screenings, vaccinations, etc.) as recommended by your doctor and as covered by your plan. Staying as healthy as possible is one of the best ways to keep your healthcare costs down.
  7. Participate in your plan's wellness program if it offers one. Not only are such programs designed to help keep you healthy, many plans offer cash incentives or rewards for accomplishing certain health goals.
  8. Read your plan documents carefully and visit your insurance provider's website. Some insurance companies offer discounts on products for healthy living, such as exercise equipment.
  9. If you are given a prescription, be sure to talk to your doctor and pharmacist about generic alternatives to name brand drugs. Generic medications typically cost less. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.