It’s no secret that healthcare is getting more expensive in the U.S. In fact, healthcare spending has reached more than $3.5 trillion (that’s more than $10,7000 per person). It also makes up 17.9 percent of the country’s GDP.
Do you feel that you’re spending too much on healthcare and health insurance, more specifically? If so, we’re here to help.
Listed below are five of the most effective ways you can reduce your healthcare cost while still getting the kind of treatment and coverage you need.
Factors that Affect Your Healthcare Cost
Before we get into the specific ways you can save money on health insurance, it might help to know what kinds of factors influence the cost of your healthcare.
There are a lot of steps that insurance companies take to determine how much they’re going to charge you for coverage. The following five are some of the most important things they take into account when calculating the cost of your insurance premium:
1. Physical Health
The less healthy you are, the more likely you are to visit the doctor. This, in turn, will lead to your insurance provider paying more money in most cases.
Because of these facts, insurance providers tend to reward people who are in good health with lower premiums.
There are a lot of factors they consider when determining your health status. For example, they’ll look at your body mass index, consider whether or not you smoke, and take into account your age (older people tend to require more healthcare visits than younger people).
Insurance agents will take a look at your profession, too. If you have a job that’s more likely to impact your health in a negative way (such as a highly sedentary job), you may pay more for health insurance. Or for example, if you are a roofer or window washer, your premiums may be higher than say a person who works in an office every day.
3. Zip Code
Where you live impacts your health and the cost of your health insurance as well. If you live in a zip code where lots of people tend to have poor health, you may end up paying more money than someone who lives in a “healthier” zip code. This has to do with the fact that people who live in the same place tend to have similar health challenges.
4. Marital Status
People who are married tend to live longer and be healthier, overall, than people who are single. While we don’t know why this is, insurance companies still tend to offer lower premiums to people who are married than those who are single.
5. Current Insurance Status
If you’ve never had health insurance before, or if you’ve gone a long time without having insurance, you may have to pay a higher premium than someone who has had consistent coverage.
Insurance agents base this on the logic that, if you haven’t had insurance for a while, you likely haven’t been going to the doctor, either. This, in turn, may put you at risk for more health problems.