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Gems of Consumer Wisdom
Health • Safety • Financial Freedom









  Shop Around for Health Insurance  

1.   Online insurance-search sites could help you save up to 40% by showing you the lowest-cost offers.  They carry most of the different kinds of health insurance plans that people want.

2.   High-deductible insurance can save 20-50% over five years for relatively healthy people.  This type of insurance kicks in only for high medical expenses.

3.   You can also save money by getting health insurance with reduced benefits for items you may not need such as mental health care, vision care, hearing care, substance abuse recovery, maternity care, and dental work.  Some plans strictly limit medications, prescription drugs and/or hospitalization:  check the fine print to see if their limits are fair.

4.   Employer or group insurance could save 10-20%, for example from the AAA, AARP, alumni and various trade associations. 

5.   Two other insurance savers are a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) which reduces your choice of doctors, or a Health Management Organization (HMO) which reduces doctor choice and also reduces costs in two more ways.  First, HMOs place more emphasis on preventive care to reduce the chance you'll get sick.  Second, they reduce benefits that management believes is excessive (such as overly long hospital stays).  The downside:  HMOs may place limits on what doctors feel is appropriate care, and you may experience bureaucratic snafus.

6.   Shopping around could save you a lot of money by (1) helping you implement the tips just mentioned, and (2) comparing low-priced offers from health insurance companies.  Many people are pleasantly surprised by the affordability of several health insurance plans.  Of the sites recommended by the Coalition for Affordable Health Care (CAHC), eHealthInsurance seems to be quickest and broadest.  You can compare all these types of plans, get free quotes, and apply online.

(Next Gem: The Psychology Of Health)

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