Chances are that your health insurance costs are becoming an increasingly larger portion of your monthly household budget. So doing whatever you can to reduce those costs (without reducing the scope of coverage) is as important as ever.
For example, you probably already know that staying healthy and quitting smoking will help you keep your health insurance premiums low. Perhaps you’ve even raised your deductibles or your coinsurance ratio, knowing that these steps can help minimize your monthly out-of-pocket costs.
But you might also want to consider some of the surprising things that could raise your health insurance premiums, and act accordingly.
The Health of Your Co-Workers. Assuming that you get your health insurance coverage through your employer, you’re part of a pool of insurance purchasers along with your co-workers. If you work at a small company where your co-workers are older or are otherwise prone to make a lot of claims against their policies, then you might expect to pay a higher employee contribution each month compared to if you worked at a larger company with a greater number of young and healthier employees. If you do find yourself with higher than expected premiums (particularly if your employer does not contribute anything to your premiums), then you may be able to save money by obtaining individual coverage on your own.
An Unsupportive Workplace. Speaking of your employer and your co-workers, you might be surprised to learn that workplaces which take extra steps to help improve the health of their employees generally obtain lower insurance rates for them. For example, an employer that offers a wellness program to its employees will generally be able to provide insurance coverage at a lower cost. A workplace that isn’t supportive of employee wellness may be costing you money.
Practice Safe Driving Habits. Are you a safe driver? If not (or even if you do consider yourself safe, but have been involved in a number of accidents or have received numerous tickets or driving citations), then you might not just be paying more for your car insurance – you might also need to pay more for your health insurance coverage. Individuals with poor driving records are considered to be at greater risk for serious injuries that could require expensive medical treatment.
“Dangerous” Hobbies. Many applications for health insurance include questions relating to personal hobbies or pastimes. Insurance companies will generally quote a higher insurance coverage rate for individuals that engage in activities that are considered to be dangerous and thus a threat to health and safety. For example, regularly engaging in skydiving and scuba diving will generally trigger higher health insurance premiums.
Your Occupation. While you can’t be turned down for health insurance coverage based on your occupation, your line of work can affect how much you pay for that coverage. Individuals in careers that have a higher incidence of illness or injury can expect to pay higher health insurance rates.
While you can’t control the rates that the insurance companies charge for coverage, you can try to avoid some of the above factors that would result in you having to pay more.
Tags: health insurance, health insurance premiums, insurance advice