Want to trim your health insurance costs in the new year? The best way is to resolve to become more educated and informed about your health care, says Martin Rosen, co-founder of Health Advocate Inc., a company in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., that helps consumers navigate the health care system.
For healthy people who rarely go to the doctor, it may make sense to seek lower premiums through a higher insurance deductible.
"You could be paying a lot of money to get a richer benefit package and you may not use it," Rosen says. "Most people want to protect themselves against catastrophic medical costs. ... People are starting to realize, if they do the numbers, they will save a lot of money and they still will have decent coverage."
If you have no health insurance, minimal insurance or a high-deductible plan, you may be able to save money by negotiating whenever you receive a medical bill, Rosen adds. The key is to not be shy about asking for a break.
"Ask in a polite way, 'Is there an opportunity to reduce the bill?'" he says. "Will every doctor or hospital give a discount? No, but some will."