insurance

3 smart tips for buying health insurance

How to save on health insurance

If your employer doesn't offer health insurance and you don't qualify for Medicare, you need to shop for health insurance through the private market. While buying coverage can be expensive, there are some things you can do to save on health insurance.

Compare prices

Saving on health insurance means knowing a good deal when you see one, but to spot a bargain, you must be well-versed in the market. Health insurance providers tend to operate on a regional basis, but you should have several choices, depending on where you live.

Before you buy, it pays to search for health insurance quotes online at the beginning of your process. At the outset, you'll need to be able to answer a few basic background questions as well as provide information on your medical history. But remember, when you choose a health plan, it's critical to do an apples-to-apples comparison. So, make sure that the deductibles, co-pays and other policy features match up before you look at the premiums.

Consider how much you need

The price you pay for health insurance will depend greatly on what kind of policy you choose. But policies aren't one-size-fits-all, which means you're going to want to buy private health insurance that matches your stage of life. If you're young, single and healthy, chances are you can safely opt for a plan with a lower premium, even if it means a higher deductible. If you're buying for a family or if you're older, a plan with a lower deductible will likely help you save on out-of-pocket expenses.

Stay healthy

Although we don't like to admit it, our own health is often a factor in how much we pay for health insurance. One way to slash your health care rates is to maintain a healthy weight. If you're a smoker, consider quitting. Ditto if you use drugs or abuse alcohol. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will save you on premiums, but it also can cut down on medical costs as you age. So, there's a real financial incentive to staying healthy.

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