This post by Sabado Domingo originally appeared on LenPenzo.com.
Around this time of year, a lot of employees are required to make their choices for next year’s health insurance. While it’s true that costs will almost certainly go up, checking through your plan and giving things a little bit of consideration might just save you some money. Not everyone will have the same system, but there are a few things that anyone can look at to decide if they’re getting good value on their insurance.
One of the first things to take a look at is exactly what you and your employer are paying for your insurance. Estimates suggest that fewer than half of Americans know exactly how much comes out of their paycheck each month for their health care. Even fewer know how much their employer actually contributes. If you don’t know how much you’re paying now, you won’t know how much things are going to go up next year. You need to know this or you can’t budget properly.
There’s no harm in going through all of your options either. Is the plan you’ve got definitely the right one? You should check the different options your employer is offering, and make sure you’re choosing the right one. For some people, it might actually make sense to look at individually purchased policies rather than the one available from your employer. Just because your plan was a good value last year doesn’t mean that it is this year.
Go through the things you need in your plan. Unnecessary treatments and branded drugs can help to push up the premium, so if you don’t need them, see if you can cut them out. There’s no point wasting your money on services that you aren’t going to use, or on drugs that might not be any more effective than their generic counterparts.
You should also think about your family, and how the policy fits with them. There’s a good chance that your employer will cover your children right up to the age of 26. But there may be exceptions, requirements and additional cost. In some cases it may be more cost-effective to have a separate policy for them.
There are more options than there have ever been before, and you should certainly consider as many as you can. There are plenty of sites out there that will help you compare your options, and it’s always worthwhile checking them out, especially since plans can vary from state to state.