A lot of Americans feel like they’re paying more for health insurance these days, and it’s not all in their heads. From 2008 to 2018, health insurance and medical costs rose twice as fast as wages, according to one study. And that’s just for employees of large companies. If you work for a smaller place or are self-employed, then you’re no doubt paying even more out of pocket. Health care costs are no doubt going to be a hot topic going into the 2020 election. But while candidates argue about who has the best plan, you need tips that will help you save money now, not in a couple years. Here are three simple ways to save money on health care.
If you have the privilege of comparing prices, then do that. It may seem simpler to just take whatever plan gets offered by your company, but you may regret that later. Doing your homework now is better than being surprised by high medical expenses later.
It can be hard to figure out just how much a plan is going to cost you. Things like deductibles and premiums can confuse even someone who has had health insurance for 20 or 30 years. If you’re just getting off your parents’ plan because you recently turned 26, then it can be even worse.
This is where websites such as Health insurance innovations come in handy. They give you the tools to more directly compare insurance plans and figure out which one is right for you. Playing a bit more in monthly premiums might be worth it if you have fewer co-pays or a lower deductible, for instance. But closing your eyes and picking a plan at random isn’t a good idea.
We’ve all walked by the supplements aisle at the drugstore, but how often have you actually stopped and look at the offerings? Now’s a good time to do that, because health insurance supplements can be a cheap and easy way to give your health a boost. Many people report feeling better after starting a daily vitamin regimen.
Do you live in a Northern city with dreary, gray winters? Chances are, other people are feeling it too, and the smart ones are taking Vitamin D to make up for all that natural light they aren’t getting. After all, Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin, and there’s some evidence that a lack of Vitamin D can lead to your feeling depressed. Talk to your doctor if you’re thinking about taking Vitamin D or any other supplement. They can give you suggested doses, and if you’re depressed, they can help you explore other types of treatment. Those types of treatment might include therapy and antidepressant medications.
Get some exercise
If your employer offers you a free or low-cost gym membership, take advantage of it. Yes, they’re looking to lower the overall amount they pay for employee insurance, but you can still benefit from that. Exercise promotes all sorts of good feelings. You can thank endorphins for that good feeling you get after going for a bike ride or taking a yoga class.
Regular workouts can lower the risk for heart disease and certain cancers. If you’re having trouble getting motivated, get a workout buddy who will keep you accountable. If you can’t do that, remember that even working out once or twice a week is better than nothing. Start with something simple and see whether you can work your way up. But don’t feel like you have to go to CrossFit classes right out of the gate or anything.