For decades, the rapidly rising cost of health insurance has been a hot topic for politicians at the federal, state, and local levels. From tax incentives to regulating premiums, there remains division finding the most effective way to reduce health insurance. Not even calling healthcare industry experts to Washington D.C. has solved the runaway costs problem.

We want to let you in on a little secret.

You can do your part to reduce health insurance costs by following one or more of the following helpful tips.

#1 Increase the Deductible

If you have to pay for your health insurance policy as opposed to your employer footing the bill, raising the annual deductible is a sound financial move because it lowers your monthly premium. However, the risk involved is you could be left with a huge medical bill after costly emergency care. Generally, if you are young and in good health, increasing your annual deductible will save you money on health insurance. Remember that preventive care is typically delivered without your insurance company requiring a co-payment.

#2 Follow Healthy Lifestyle Practices

Speaking of preventive care, taking care of yourself remains the most effective way to control rapidly rising health insurance costs. Commit to a regular exercise routine, even if the routine is just walking every other day for 30 minutes. Joining a health club gives you access to exercise equipment and classes that promote healthy habits. Some health insurance policies reward policyholders that join gyms and fitness centers. Adhere to a healthy diet by laying off fried foods and incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your daily meals.

#3 Comparison Shop

You no longer have to flip through the Yellow Pages to reach insurance companies for premium quotes. You can find all the information you need online at each company’s website or by accessing an online tool that compares the cost of health insurance policies offered by several carriers. Type in a few numbers and receive different price quotes for monthly health insurance premiums. Changing the deductible for different insurers should provide you with the most affordable policy.

#4 Make Better Choices

Smokers pay higher monthly premiums than the monthly premiums paid by non-smokers and in many cases, the difference in premiums is significantly high. Do whatever it takes to kick the habit, whether you decide to wear a patch or join a support group. The money you save on health insurance is worth the effort, as is cleaning out your body of harmful toxins. Although health insurance policies do not penalize policyholders for drinking alcoholic and carbonated beverages, you will enhance your health by cutting down on both types of beverages.

#5 Buy Generic Prescriptions

Prescription drugs represent one of the most expensive out-of-pocket expenses for health insurance policies. If you decide to switch to generic medication, you should save a considerable amount of money. Compare the active ingredients on a bottle of generic medicine with the active ingredients on a bottle of the same type of medication produced by a brand name company. There should not be much, if any price difference.

#6 Make Sure Your Treatments are Covered

To prevent paying for unnecessary health insurance costs, review your policy to determine whether a certain treatment is part of your coverage. Also, you might find less costly treatment options that address the same health issue. Explain the health insurance policy to your physician to see if there is any way to reduce out-of-pocket expenses.

Remember not to cut corners on your health to save money on health insurance costs. Ignoring a health issue only makes the condition worse and your pocketbook inevitably lighter. Be proactive to reduce your health insurance costs.

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