ProConnect

10 Ways To Avoid Being Ripped Off By Health Insurance

By

10 Ways To Avoid Being Ripped Off By Health Insurance
How do you know if you're getting the best health insurance bang for your buck?

By Mary Schwager for GalTime.com

Tips for buying health insurance

More from YourTango: Want To Improve Your Marriage? Get Organized With Weekly Meetings

Is a health insurance check-up on your financial to-do list for 2013? Whether your employer offers you a couple different plans to choose from, or you pay out of pocket for your own policy, how do you know if you’re getting the most for your money?

Health insurance expert Katherine Woodfield provides 10 tips on how to navigate the sometimes confusing lingo, mathematic calculations and insurance coverage options to help make sure you’re getting the best deal on health insurance.

1. Call your family's doctors.

Ask for the office manager and find out if there are any providers or any plans that they do not accept. While the office manager may suggest plans they prefer, understand that they’ll prefer plans that pay higher. Since you’ll want to choose a plan with the lowest premium, note that the provider’s suggestions may not be in your best interest.

2. Find out the cash payer cost of a routine sinusitis or bronchitis visit.

If you have $50 co-pay and the doctor would charge a cash paying patient $75 for the same visit, you are paying most of the cost of the visit already. This knowledge will become helpful later in this article as we discuss "costing out" your options.

RELATED Medical Credit Cards: Life Savers or Money Mistakes?

3. Call or visit your pharmacy.

If there are maintenance medications you fill every month, call and ask the pharmacist how much the retail price is for those prescriptions every 30 days. Sometimes co-pays are actually higher than the retail cost! Also, if you are going to be filling the prescriptions from a mail-order pharmacy, you’ll be purchasing the medication 90 days at a time. Remember the day count when comparing prices.

4. Call or visit two other pharmacies.

Now that you have one pharmacy's retail price, you may be surprised to learn that there are no set costs for prescriptions. I have seen price swings of up to $50/month on commonly used generic prescription drugs. If you are going to be filling prescriptions every month, you may want to pick up different products from different stores.

5. Do you even need or want prescription coverage?

More from YourTango: How Often Should You Bathe Your Baby?

Once you have collected your prescription data, work out how much it would cost you each month if you paid cash for your prescriptions. If that number is very small (say $60/month) and the insurance plans you’re considering are charging $200/month for their prescription benefit, consider "carving out" or not buying the prescription coverage. By the time you add in co-pays and premium rates, you may realize that you will save money purchasing prescriptions as you go.

6. Health Care Reform has mandated that insurance companies pay 100% before co-pay and deductible for all preventative care.

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Recent Expert Posts
Brain

Use Goal Setting To Get A Boyfriend

You use goal setting in your professional life, but you can also use it to find true love.

shame

Uncovering the "Scandal" Behind Abusive Relationships

The media is abuzz with the news that “Scandal” star Columbus Short recently ...

Sex: How To Make Your Wife In The Mood For Sex

Are You The Tortoise Or The Hare In The Bedroom?

If he's ready and you're not, consider putting on a sexy fashion show for him.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Resources
How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no time…

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>
HOT STUFF!
FROM OUR PARTNERS