[ 2 minutes to read ]
When open enrollment began for health insurance plans on the exchange, many Americans were surprised to see that some plans had increased in cost as much as 25%. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times stated that the reason for the increase was due to the cost to cover all people who signed up for health insurance via the exchange in 2016. These increases not only effect those who sign-up on the exchange but also health insurance premiums all across the board. Many of us are left wondering which plans to choose and how to manage the increased costs.
Tip #1 — When looking at health plans on the exchange or through your employer look at the medical services that you used in 2016 and see what those will costs under the different plans that you are considering. Weight it out and see if its more advantageous to pay less in monthly premiums and have higher copays, deductible and co-insurance costs OR pay more in monthly permiums and have lower copays, deductibles, and co-insurance.
Tip #2 — Take a look at what you spent on healthcare in 2016 and increase the amount that you have put into your flexible spending account (FSA) at work to match your spending. If you don’t have an FSA at work create your own healthcare escrow account. Take the average amount per month you spent on healthcare in 2015 and 2016 and put that into saving account that you utilize to cover your healthcare costs.
Tip #3 — Take a look at your current year health insurance plan, you have met your deductible or your copay for a particular service may be lower for this year than next. So now may be the time to take care of any appointments you may have been putting off due to cost.
Unfortunately, healthcare care costs are most likely to continue to increase, but by educating yourself about your insurance plan and some prep work you will be able to mitigate the impact to your bottom line.