Health insurance is expensive everywhere. The fact is, according to the U.S. Census Bureau over 50% of all Iowans report that paying for health insurance puts a severe financial strain on their monthly budget and close to 17% of all Iowa residents can’t afford health insurance coverage at all.
The numbers are frightening. Luckily there are a few steps you can take to bring the cost of health insurance down and keep you and your family covered.
Start by not smoking. Smokers pay a lot more for health insurance than non-smokers. If you smoked when you first took out your policy but have since quit talk to your agent as you should be able to get your premiums reduced – possibly substantially.
Most Americans are overweight and losing weight is one of the most difficult things for people to do. However, part of your health insurance premium will be based on your BMI – which stands for Body Mass Index. This is a fancy way of saying that the more overweight you are the more you’ll pay for your insurance.
But it really is worth the effort to lose even a few pounds. If you can drop even one rung on the BMI scale you could save premium dollars month after month for years.
Don’t participate in dangerous sports or hobbies. The more you put your health at risk the more you’re going to pay for your health insurance. That includes not driving fast sports or muscle cars or having a job that is considered dangerous.
Look at how much you current pay as a co-payment each time you visit your doctor or have any medical procedure. If your co-payment is less than 50% you can lower your monthly premium by increasing your co-payment to 50%. Of course, you must have the resources to pay the extra co-pay amount. This tactic works best for people who only see their doctor a few times each year.
Your deductible is probably your best bet for lowering your monthly premium payment – but be certain that you can afford to increase the amount that you are willing to pay out of your own pocket each year before you ask your insurance company to start paying their share of your medical bills. The more you can pay, the less your insurance company will charge you in monthly premiums.
If you seldom see the doctor in a normal year you might consider taking out an ultra-high deductible policy, a policy with a deductible of $2,000 or more. These policies don’t help you pay for routine doctor’s office visits. The value of these low-cost health insurance policies is if you suffer a catastrophic accident or illness and suddenly find yourself facing medical bills of tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
O.K., you’ve now got a good grasp of what you are looking for in a health insurance policy, so now it’s time to get online and find at least 3 different websites that allow you to compare polices and prices head-to-head.
Keep in mind that since no one site compares polices and prices among all the different insurance companies it will be necessary for you to make your comparisons on at least 3 different sites. It’s a pain to have to make multiple comparisons, but the result is that you will be able to really a truly get affordable health insurance here in Iowa and know that you are saving money year after year while protecting yourself, your family and your assets.