High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) are increasing in popularity through employer sponsored programs and on the private market. It is estimated that in three years, 40% of employers offering insurance will only offer HDHPs. Employers like them because they shift the burden of medical payments onto the employee. Insurers are fans of high deductible plans because it encourages customers to shop around before acquiring medical care. But the underlying problem with high deductible plans is that many consumers are choosing to forego care or put it off until the symptoms get worse and the care becomes increasingly more expensive. So how can a family maximize their health care dollars and make the most of a high deductible health plan?
Saving money with a HDHP
High deductible plans aren’t bad. They are really great for people that have a savings cushion to cover the deductible, want low premiums, and use the plan for routine screenings. Consumers need to be savvy when it comes to utilizing their plans. People on HDHPs: wake up! It’s time to take ownership of your medical care!
Triple tax advantages with a Lively HSA
HSAs, or health savings accounts, offer triple tax advantages for those who enroll in high deductible insurance plans. Here’s how:
- Contributions are tax-deductible.
- Contributions can be invested and grow tax-free.
- Withdrawals aren't taxed if you use them for qualified medical expenses like doctor's visits or prescription drugs.
It’s basically like getting a 25% discount on your health expenses, depending on your tax bracket. Much like a 401k, the more you contribute, the more you save. Individuals or small businesses enrolled in Take Command Health premier membership will now have access to free HSAs powered by Lively in addition to other great benefits like Teledoc, dental discount plans and medical bill negotiation.
Maximize free preventative care
The Affordable Care Act mandates that all health plans cover certain essential benefits. Included in these essential benefits are preventative services such as: vaccinations, mammograms, and colonoscopies. The essential health benefits are free so make sure you schedule appointments for routine healthcare.
Stay in network
It’s said a lot, but is worth repeating...Stay in network to save money! Sometimes you cannot control out of network charges (like anesthesiologists), but do your best! Only charges spent in network count against your deductible so don’t waste your money going out of network. You know to check that your doctors are in network, but don’t forget to double check the lab that tests your bloodwork.
Shop around for low cost alternatives
Medical treatment prices can vary from office to office so it helps to call around for pricing. You can even negotiate prices with your providers if you are paying in cash! Don’t forget to shop around pharmacies too! Compare prices for prescriptions at over 70,000 pharmacies at GoodRX.
Supplementing your insurance
We understand that having a high deductible of $5,000 or more is scary. And asking you spend more money upfront might sound like a crazy idea. But a TCH membership can save you money throughout the year. For $15/$25 month (Individual/Family) you get access to the following:
- Pharmacy Discounts: Save up to 80% on prescriptions with our partner RefillWise.
- Telemedicine: Talk to a doctor 24/7 for zero copay. Telemedicine is real doctors who can assess your condition over the phone and send prescriptions to the pharmacy. It's a lifesaver when you are sick and don’t want to waste two hours at the doctors office.
- Medical Bill Negotiation: Medical bill negotiation may be one of the most essential resources for those with high deductibles. Over 80% of medical bills contain errors. Even after your insurance company pays their portion of the medical bill, the amount you owe can be high. Submit your bill to a negotiation service who will double check for errors and negotiate the price on your behalf.
- Dental and Vision Discounts: We have partnered with Aetna Dental Access for discounts ranging from 15-50% per visit for cleanings, x-rays, fillings, orthodontics and more! Our Vision network provides 10-30% discounts for eye exams and 20-60% on glasses, LASIK, and contacts.
We’re here to help!
Still trying to decide if a high deductible health plan is right for you or your family? Want to learn more about the TCH premier membership? Our team at Take Command Health can answer your questions and offer advice. We can help you shop around for the right plan and steer you in the right direction. Check us out today!
I wrote this blog because I love helping people decode confusing insurance jargon and understand the fine print. I'm a licensed health insurance professional and specialize in simplifying health insurance for individuals and small businesses. My QSEHRA articles have been featured regularly on Accounting Today, Accounting Web, HRWeb, and other industry publications. I'm also a member of Take Command Health's client success team and a full-time mom. Learn more about me and connect with me on our about us page. Thanks!