Many uninsured Idaho Falls residents cite the high cost of insurance as a deterrent from getting the coverage they need. Before you begin to think that not getting health insurance is a way to save money, consider that a large percentage of the bankruptcies in the USA are due to inability to pay medical bills. Health insurance can certainly be prohibitively expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some ways to save money today on health insurance in Idaho Falls.
- Check into an HSA. An HSA (Health Savings Account) is a type of savings account that lets you set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses. You put money into the account with every paycheck (it is auto-deducted by your employer if you have one, and deposited into your account) and often your employer will also contribute to your HSA. The money is invested pre-tax and you can use it for your medical expenses. Depending on your unique situation, an HSA could save you a lot of money. One big benefit is that your HSA money can be invested, so your account can passively grow over the years and if you don’t use all the money one year, it rolls over. Your employer’s HR department or benefits manager can help you decide if an HSA is an option for you.
- Look past the monthly premiums. If you use very little medical services throughout the year, a low monthly premium might be the main factor to look at. If you or someone in your family has a medical condition that requires regular treatments, a low monthly premium might equal more out of pocket costs, which could end up costing you more over the course of the year. Many of us don’t expect accidents to happen at all, so it may be a gamble to go with a low monthly premium on the assumption that you won’t have an accident or unforeseen medical expense during the year.
- Take advantage of incentives. Many health insurance companies in Idaho Falls provide discounts to members who use technology or preventative medicine measures. Some examples include a wellness physical exam, a smoking cessation program, or the use of a fitness tracker to encourage physical activity. Taking advantage of all these incentives can yield savings into the thousands of dollars per year off your health insurance costs. These incentives can change yearly even within the same insurance company, so be sure to inquire about them every year when your plan renews.
- Use your advocates. Some healthcare companies have advocates who act as a concierge to help you find and save on medical services. They can point you to cheaper offices, hospitals, and alternatives to your regular prescriptions or medical devices. Ask your insurance company if they have advocates or reps to help you navigate medical services.
- Set money aside in an FSA. An FSA (Flex Spending Account) gives you the opportunity to use your money pre-tax for medical expenses. At the beginning of the year, you estimate how much money you’ll spend on qualifying medical expenditures for the year. The amount you designate is taken out weekly from your paychecks divided up over the course of the year. Throughout the year you can use that money either through a debit card or submitted receipts for reimbursement from your FSA. The only drawback is that FSA money must be used or it is forfeited at the end of the year. So while an FSA is definitely a benefit that you should take advantage of, you should consider carefully how much money you will likely spend and go slightly lower than that amount to ensure you don’t lose any unused money at the end of the year. The use of an FSA will save you an amount equal to the taxes you would have paid on the money you have set aside.
- Get help from an independent insurance agent right here in Idaho Falls. One of the absolute best ways to keep your insurance costs low is to get help from an independent insurance agent who can help you look for subsidies, discounts, and the perfect plan for you and your family. What factors should you consider when buying health insurance? Alpine Castle Lake Insurance can help answer all your questions and help you find an affordable healthcare plan that’s right for you. Call 208-552-2100 and talk with one of our friendly, experienced agents today to learn more.