Retired, semi-retired or working independently but not quite eligible for Medicare yet? Buying health insurance looks a lot different than it did when the kids were still home. We pulled together a few tips to help you make sure you're maximizing your health care dollars:
- Take a little time every year to shop around. Renewing an old plan without checking to see what new plans are offered is a common... and costly mistake. New products are being offered every year and your needs are changing. According to a recent HHS.gov study, last year consumers saved ~$400/year by shopping and switching plans over auto renewing existing coverage.
- Doctor networks are critical. Having your favorite doctors in network is obviously important--but you already know that. What some people may not realize is that if you're having surgery or have other health needs, it's important to verify that everyone providing care is also in network. Unless it's an emergency, make sure you request labs, doctors, hospitals and any other care providers are in network.
- Shop around for prescriptions. Requesting generics over brand name drugs is a start for saving on prescriptions--but before you fill it, shop around. We recommend our friends at GoodRX.com to quickly find the lowest price in you area for your prescription needs.
- COBRA may be an option, but it isn't necessarily your best option. If you recently experienced a shift in employment status, definitely check private plan prices before enrolling in COBRA coverage. A lot of times you can get better coverage for less with a private plan. Just be sure to make your decision, COBRA or a private plan, within 60 days of your employment status change.
- Before you retire, inquire about retiree medical insurance through your company. It isn't common, but it's definitely worth asking about.
Our mission at Take Command Health is to help you be a smart health insurance consumer. Stop by our site today to quickly compare plans from all the major insurance providers in Texas!