Just like there is no free lunch, there's no free health insurance. Health care costs are steadily rising in this economy, too, so if you intend on living frugally, this is one area of your budget that you must keep a steady eye on. There are millions of ways to save on health insurance and healthcare costs that most people don't really know about. Here are a just a few to get you started on your way to more frugal spending on healthcare.
- Look for work that provides health benefits.
If you are currently working a job that offers no health care benefits, it would be wise for you to start looking for different work. If you are married, most employer-covered insurance plans will cover family members too, so talk things out with your spouse and make sure that at least one of you is getting employer-sponsored health insurance. If you are single, seek out work with benefits, even if it pays less. You'll be saving potentially thousands of dollars a year by working for an employer who offers benefits.
- Always go to doctors who are in your plan's network.
It can be tempting to stay with certain healthcare providers even after you get insurance coverage and they aren't in your network. Know, however, that in-network doctors tend to be much, much cheaper. By going to doctors who are out of network, you're essentially throwing away many of the savings that accrue by being insured.
- Open a flexible spending account.
- Check to see if your provider offers incentives.
Some health insurance providers offer incentives for those who are particularly healthy, so do check with your insurance company on their website or by calling to see what might be offered. For example, some insurers offer incentives for people who are certified non-smokers, or for those who regularly go to the gym.
Health insurance, at least in the foreseeable future, will never be cheap. But if you make sure that you are adequately covered, and you do your best to find ways to save on what your insurer doesn't cover, you'll be well on your way to living a completely frugal life. Good luck!
Freelance blogger Carol Wilson enjoys writing about anything and everything related to insurance, whether it's health, automotive, or commercial. Check out more of her writing at businessinsurance.org.