Healthcare and health insurance can be expensive, but there are ways to save. Below are some tips to cut costs while staying healthy.
1. Weigh your plan options.
If you are relatively healthy, a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) can be a good way to save. HDHPs usually have lower premiums, or monthly payments. With a higher deductible, you’ll pay more out of pocket before your plan starts to pay for your care, but preventive care is often covered in full. (Review your plan benefits to confirm). Some HDHPs also give you access to another way to save: a health savings account (HSA). If your employer offers a HSA Qualified HDHP, you can put the money you save on premiums into an HSA, and if you don’t need to use those savings, the funds roll over from one year to the next.
A flexible spending account (FSA) can also help you save. Your employer has to offer this option, which lets you set aside money tax-free to pay for out-of-pocket healthcare costs. At the end of the year, one of two things happens to unused funds depending on what your employer chooses:
- You have an extra 2.5 months to spend the remaining money, or
- You can carry over up to $500.
A health reimbursement account (HRA) is another option your employer may offer. Your employer funds the account, and you can use the money to pay for any out-of-pocket costs.
2. Shop for providers.
Once you choose your health plan, be sure to use doctors and other healthcare professionals who are in your plan’s network. Using in-network providers ( How healthcare networks work) can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Some plans don’t cover out-of-network care at all. If you are a current Credence plan member, you can find in-network providers on Find Care.
3. Use your preventive care benefits.
Having your yearly checkup with screenings, tests and immunizations is one of the best ways to protect your health. Getting preventive care helps your doctor find problems early, when they are easier to fix. Preventive care guidelines and recommendations depend on your age, gender, ethnicity, family and health history.
4. Take advantage of discount programs.
Many health plans offer discounts on products and services that can help you improve or protect your health. Credence offers Blue365, where members have access to discounts on athletic gear, gym memberships, healthy eating resources and more.
By learning about your health plan and taking full advantage of your benefits, you can stay healthy and save money too.