Health insurance plans often come with high monthly premiums, which is why many choose a high-deductible health plan. While these plans come with lower monthly costs, the deductible is much harder to reach and can put you out when you have a large medical bill. Here are some ways you can save money when you have a high-deductible health plan.
What is a high-deductible health plan?
A high-deductible health plan (HDHP) is a plan with a deductible of at least $1,400 for an individual or of at least $2,800 for a family. A deductible is how much money you will pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses before your insurance begins to pay. Furthermore, insurance companies cannot have deductibles that exceed $7,000 for individuals or $14,000 for families.
However, whether your high deductible is $1,400 or $14,000, it seems like a lot of money, and you may be wondering how to save on these upfront costs.
Set up an HSA or FSA
A great step to save money when you have a high deductible health plan is to set up either a Health Savings Plan or Flexible Savings Account.
Health Savings Account (HSA)
A health savings account, or HSA as it is commonly known, is a tax-advantaged account to save money for health expenses. An HSA can help you cover the expenses of some of the following:
- Health procedures (find eligibility here)
You can only set up an HSA if you have a high deductible. Individuals can contribute up to $3,650 a year, or a family plan can contribute up to $7,300 a year. At the end of the year, whatever funds you have left in your HSA will roll over to the next year. Some HSAs can earn interest or other earnings. Since the money is tax-free, this is an excellent way to put money aside for your medical expenses.
Some health insurances offer Health Savings Accounts. You will also want to check with your employer to see if you can set up one through the company you work for.
Flexible Savings Account (FSA)
Flexible Savings Accounts have several similarities to HSAs. If you have health care through your employer, an FSA may be an option for you. It is a tax-free account that you can contribute money throughout the year. Your employer can also contribute to this account but is not required to do so.
These accounts are limited to $3,050 a year per employer. So, if you are married, your spouse would be eligible to contribute $3,050 a year at their place of employment as long as they do not work for the same company.
Typically, FSA money needs to be used within the year. Some employers may offer a 2 ½ month extension to use the money for your health expenses or allow you to carry over up to $610. It is important to plan ahead because you lose the money leftover in these accounts at the end of the year.
If you know that you have upcoming medical expenses, HSAs and FSAs are great options to save a little money since it is tax-free.
Check Your Calendar
If you find out that you need an expensive medical test or procedure done, try to schedule it at the beginning of the year. That way, once you meet your deductible, the rest of your medical bills for the year will be covered under your insurance.
Utilize Free Preventative Care
For a complete list of what free preventive care is available, check HealthCare.gov.
Save on Prescriptions
Another great way to save money on out-of-pocket expenses is to request generic prescription drugs when possible. Talk with your doctor about the availability of generic medications and whether they are right for you. Also, ask your doctor if samples of your medications are available for you.
Staying in-network for your medical visits is one of the best ways to cut costs. If you stay in-network, deductibles are often lower, and medical expenses will be taken off of your yearly deductible.
Utilize your insurance company to find out what providers are in your network. You can also have a company like UBERDOC book your appointments for you. This can save you in the long run because it can help you avoid referrals. This helps you save money by booking fewer appointments and having fewer co-pays.
Skip the Insurance
You can schedule your own appointment with a specialist through UBERDOC for less than it will typically cost you if you go the traditional route and file through insurance. If you will have to pay for your visit in full because of a high deductible, it makes more sense to pay the flat rate you will receive using UBERDOC. UBERDOC Plus gives users to get more choices, faster access, and better prices for their healthcare needs.
Fast Access to Health Professionals
If you need help finding in-network doctors, UBERDOC can help! UBERDOC allows you to get the care you need in an easy and affordable way. We offer both in-person and telemedicine appointments, ensuring that you have access to the healthcare you need, no matter how busy or restrictive your day is. To find out more about how UBERDOC can help you, contact us today!