Save on Health Insurance as Premiums Increase, Say Atlanta Bankruptcy Attorneys
First, credit cards starting adding annual fees and raising rates. Next, bank accounts started getting more expensive. Now health insurance premiums are on the rise, say Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys. What gives?
Employee healthcare plans went up about 5 percent last year, according to the Associated Press. It's even worse for people who buy their own healthcare - those plans are poised to rise by 50 percent or more. But the worst part isn't that we have to pay more each month for health care - it's that new rates might discourage some of us from paying at all. And that's a risk we can't afford, no matter how appealing the savings.
Americans have a right to affordable health care, whether Uncle Sam is paying for it or not. But meanwhile, canceling our plans to save money won't get us anywhere - except in more debt if the worst happens and we get sick. Fortunately, there are ways to cut back without cutting out your plan.
Read your plan
Sometimes the key to savings in your healthcare plan, which many folks don't bother reading. Have you ever checked to make sure your doctor is covered by your plan? If she is, you can save big bucks. Here's another idea. Low premiums usually correspond with higher deductibles, or the amount you pay out of pocket before the insurance company chips in. Opting for a higher deductible means you'll pay more for doctor's visits and other costs. But if you're young and healthy, paying in full for a couple doctors' visits a year might be worth the cost of significantly lower premiums.
It's the same idea as grocery shopping. The generic brand does pretty much the same thing as the name brand - but at significantly less cost. While we're at it, it doesn't hurt to ask for a payment plan - or reduced payment - for medical procedures or other expenses.
Find low-cost or free options
If your doctor doesn't offer a payment plan, many clinics will. Find one in your area at to www.ask.hrsa.gov/pc. In the meantime, it can't hurt to find out whether you or someone in your family qualifies for Medicaid or Medicare at www.cms.hhs.gov.
There's another way to make healthcare more affordable - increase your income. No, you don't have to wait for a raise. Simply lowering your debt will free up more of your paycheck each month by reducing the amount you owe on your balance - and in interest.
Can't afford to allocate any more towards paying down debt each month? Bankruptcy might be able to help you do it. With a bankruptcy plan, you can get rid of some or all of your debt with realistic payments you can manage. Find out for free if there's a plan that works for you when you try a complimentary one-on-one debt analysis with an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney. I know it's no fun to think about getting sick. But look at it as investing in your health. If you do get sick, you can focus all your energy on getting healthy - instead of stressing about debt.