If you have health insurance, you may have noticed that premiums are going up. According to Covered California, the state marketplace rates will increase by an average of 6% over the coming year.
Private insurance premiums are also rising. Those who get health insurance through their employer were looking at a 2% increase between 2021 and 2022. Out-of-pocket premiums for singles have also gone up by 2%.
This article will review the reasons for the increase and what you can do to save money.
Why Are Health Insurance Premiums Going Up?
There are several reasons why premiums are going up. Here are some to consider.
Repercussions of the COVID Pandemic: Many people held off on visiting doctors during the COVID pandemic leading to a loss of income among medical professionals. Today, people are still making up for those visits, resulting in increased demand and premium increases. Increases are also due to providers trying to compensate for past lost income.
Inflation: Inflation is increasing the cost of everything, and health insurance premiums are no exception.
Lack of Federal Aid: Enhanced subsidies from the federal government expired at the end of 2022. Without the additional aid, people will be paying more for their premiums. While there was talk of the subsidies being renewed, that has yet to happen.
Healthy People Leaving the Marketplace: The rise in premiums has caused many healthy people to leave the Marketplace. When healthy people drop their insurance, premiums go up for everyone.
How to Save Money on Medical Care
With premiums increasing, you may wonder if there’s any way to make medical care more affordable. Fortunately, there are a variety of solutions to look into. These include:
See if You Qualify for a Premium Tax Credit
A premium tax credit can lower your insurance premium. The amount you qualify for depends on the estimated income you put on your Marketplace application.
You can apply some or all of your tax credit directly to your insurance premium. The Marketplace will send the credit directly to your insurance company, so you’ll pay less each month.
The lower your income, the more credit you’ll get. So if your income increases or you lose a member of your household, you’ll get a lower credit. If your income goes down or you gain a member of your household, you’ll get a higher credit.
Talk to a tax expert to find out what you are eligible for.
If you are not happy with your health insurance premium, you can shop around to see if you can find a provider that charges less. An insurance broker can help you compare costs through different insurance plans,
Keep in mind that most plans with low premiums charge higher deductibles. Determine what you’ll be paying overall to get the lowest rates.
Get Added to a Family Members Plan
If your spouse has insurance through an employer, you may pay less if you are added to their plan. This may be the case if you get government, employer, or private insurance.
Use a Tax-Advantaged Savings Plan
Different types of tax-advantaged savings plans will help you lower your expenses. These include:
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): HSAs are available to people with high-deductible plans. It involves contributing money to the HSA, which can be withdrawn tax-free to cover eligible medical costs like deductibles, copays, and insurance. An employer can open an HSA for you, but if you open one yourself, the money is yours to keep.
Heath Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs): Employers set up and funded these. Employees can not contribute money but can withdraw from the account to cover qualified medical expenses.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs): FSAs are offered by an employer. They allow employees to contribute pre-tax funds and withdraw money tax-free to cover qualified medical expenses.
Drop Your Insurance
Some people are choosing to drop their insurance altogether. They are seeking affordable health alternatives, which come in the form of free and sliding-scale clinics. Many doctors offer discounts to patients that do not have insurance.
Another option to look into is UBERDOC. UBERDOC is available for patients with and without insurance. It provides affordable care for patients without referrals.
The UBERDOC process is simple. People can go to the site to find the doctor of their choice. They can make appointments online, forgoing lengthy hold times.
Due to the UBERDOC exclusive policy, patients can be seen in 1-3 days. And most visits are just $250, a lot cheaper than most insurance plan rates considering premiums, copays, and deductibles.
Don’t deal with rising premiums. Contact UBERDOC today to find out how we can help you save.