4 Ways to Get Cheaper Health Insurance

More Americans than ever are buying their own health insurance plans, but navigating the marketplace has never been trickier. While it's not easy, there's a big upside to the patient-as-consumer healthcare economy: You now have the ability to shop for the most affordable care. All it takes is a little research.

Luckily, we've done the homework for you. Read on for our roundup of the best tricks and tactics for spending less on your health care.

1. Participate in Wellness Programs

No-cost health education seminars, 30-day exercise challenges, and gym membership reimbursements are just a sampling of the kinds of wellness initiatives offered by employers across the U.S. Yet, few of us are taking advantage of them. In 2013, fewer than half of all eligible workers took part in clinical screenings offered by their employer, and only 10% joined weight-management programs, according to a government study.

But did you know the Affordable Care Act allows employers to offer you up to a 30% reduction in health insurance premiums for your participation in these initiatives? If that's not reason enough to take part in your employer's wellness program, we don't know what is.

2. Pick Up a Flu Shot Along With That Gallon of Milk

The clinic at your local grocer is a convenient place to get vaccinations and seek treatment for minor health ailments, such as a mild fever or cough. In some cases, it's cheaper, too. Among employers that cover medical services at retail clinics, 8% provide a financial incentive to those who seek care there, rather than a traditional doctor's office. Review your health plan and see if you could save money by handing routine medical matters at a retail clinic.

3. Dial Up the Doc

Getting care by phone or video chat can drastically reduce your out-of-pocket medical expenses, not to mention remove the obstacle of having to rise out of bed. On average, the out-of-pocket cost for telemedicine is around $40, compared to $95 for a traditional visit to a doctor's office. Telemedicine isn't the right treatment method for every ailment, but rest assured that it's quite sufficient for some. Sinus infections, urinary tract infections, the flu, and the common cold are the most common diagnoses made during telehealth visits. And 83% of the time, patient issues are resolved on the first call.

4. Join an Organization That Offers Premium Discounts

Membership organizations like the Freelancers Union, Writers Guild of America, alumni associations, and the American Federation of Government Employees are dedicated to providing resources and benefits to people connected to a certain cause, general interest, or industry. One of those benefits is group health insurance packages, which often include perks like discounted premiums. AFGE members, for example, get access to cheaper health care services, prescription drugs, and discounted dental and vision exams.

Of course, not everyone is eligible for membership in these groups, but with a little online research you may be able to find one that's applicable to you. Examples of other member organizations offering health insurance coverage include: AARP Health, Small Business Service Bureau, and the National Association for Female Executives.

Have you found other ways to reduce your health insurance costs?

No votes yet
Your rating: None

Disclaimer: The links and mentions on this site may be affiliate links. But they do not affect the actual opinions and recommendations of the authors.

Wise Bread is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.