Prices are set and determined by insurance companies, generally on a state-by-state basis. Premiums for group policies cannot vary based on your health status, age, gender or other factors unless you are purchasing a "Basic and Essential" health plan.
However, there are some options available that can help you reduce the cost of your health insurance although most of these options will increase your out-of-pocket expenses and should be carefully considered and used only in appropriate situations.
- Instead of insuring most of your medical expenses, choose to insure only the large, catastrophic ones.
- Reduce your monthly premium by increasing your deductible and paying more out-of-pocket before the insurance kicks in.
- If you are in a POS or PPO plan, use only in-network doctors and services.
“Basic and Essential” Health Plans provide limited health insurance benefits at a considerably lower cost. When buying such a plan, it is extremely important to read the policy description carefully because these plans don’t cover some basic treatments, such as chemotherapy, certain prescriptions and maternity care. Furthermore, rates vary considerably because, unlike indemnity plans or a managed care option, premiums are community rated and are based on age, gender, health status, occupation or geographic location.