How to Save Money on Medical Costs

How to Save Money on Medical Costs

Medical costs can add up FAST! The cost of insurance has skyrocketed and every day medical care prices are outrageous. When it comes to keeping your family healthy you can’t really cut corners, but these tips to save on medical costs can help keep the cost down so you can afford better medical care for your family.

[Read more…]

Take Advantage of Insurance Open Enrollment Periods

Disclosure – I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Aflac. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

Health Savings

I started a new job in September and I happily switched my family’s health insurance over to the company’s policy even though it was a little more expensive because it actually covers more and my portion of the payment comes out of pre-tax dollars from my paycheck. Well not long after I started work I began getting emails that the open enrollment period had begun and I figured that I didn’t need to pay much attention since I had just signed up for coverage only a couple weeks before. What  I didn’t realize was that there were some changes to the way the policy works and that I needed to go through them and sign off as a non-smoker and put in information that hadn’t been requested before in order to avoid new surcharges that would be additional fees coming out of my paycheck.

Although the company did a good job of letting me know about the open enrollment period, they didn’t point out that it could be costing me more money if I didn’t at least take a look at the changes that were coming. Fortunately someone else at work let me know and I have now avoided the extra $40/month they would have been charging me for a full year until the next open enrollment period when I could make changes.

According to an Aflac survey 69 percent of workers say their employer hasn’t communicated changes coming to their benefits package due to health care reform  despite the October 1 deadline for employers to notify their employees of their coverage options.

I wanted to take this opportunity to  encourage you guys to learn more about your health insurance options and to ask questions about your coverage if you don’t know exactly what you have or what changes are being made due to new health care reform laws. Before I switched policies I actually called the insurance company and got their help in comparing their policy with my old one so I could make an informed decision, but I still would have lost money if I hadn’t taken the time to go over the policy again during the open enrollment period.

That health insurance survey I mentioned earlier also found that 60 percent of workers have not begun to educate themselves about coming changes to their benefits package due to health care reform, but it’s your money and your health so take charge of it by taking a few minutes to better understand what you have and what changes, if any, are being made. You’ll be glad you did!

Do A Mid-Year Health Check-In!

Our family’s health care expenses including health insurance have become the biggest part of our monthly budget next to our mortgage of course. Over the years our family’s health care needs have changed, as the children have gotten older we’ve had to add things like deductibles and co-pays for dentist visits to the budget. While the costs add up, I believe it is very important to take advantage of all preventive checkups and measures that are covered by your health insurance plan so you don’t end up with larger more expensive issues later on that may have been prevented.

Healthcare costs will likely continue to rise so I highly recommend that you do a mid-year health check-in. Here are some great tips to get you started:

  • Make sure that you’re taking advantage of all preventive services offered by your health plan such as annual checkups.
  • Be sure to keep the phone numbers for your doctors and pharmacy handy, keep the list in your purse or wallet and on the refrigerator.
  • Know where your nearest urgent care center is as they are often less expensive and more fully covered than the emergency room.
  • Finally, plan to spend a night at least once a year where you review your family’s health care needs and potential expenses. Will anyone need glasses this year? Or braces?

Planning ahead for future healthcare expenses and keeping them in your budget like you would groceries or utilities will help you to stay healthier and still receive the high quality care that you deserve. Watch the video above for information on preventive health care in the Health Plan Conversation video series from Cigna.

Disclosure – I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Cigna. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating. All thoughts and opinions are completely my own.