Benefit Enrollment is here…

21 10 2010

Due to the continually rising cost of medical insurance for employers, we can certainly expect to see that reflected in our own costs for premiums. The cost of deductibles, doctor’s visits and prescriptions are also likely to rise.

It is being estimated that employee premiums are rising on average to about 14%. I have already been notified that mine will be increasing 13.4% not far from that average.

If you feel like it is hard to keep your head above water with all of these increases, there are some things that you can do to help mitigate the effect on your pocket. Unfortunately, the one thing that you shouldn’t do, which is to get rid of health insurance all together, is what most people are doing.

Some tips to keeping your health insurance and keeping expenses down were featured in an article in Money magazine. My favorites are below.

Pick the right plan

I probably spent an hour comparing the plans that are offered through my employer. It is very likely that when it is time to enroll in benefits where you work; there will be more than just the option to re-enroll in your current plan. Although the premiums may not vary much, look at things like the deductible and coverage amounts. One plan may cost $10 less per month, but have exorbitant out-of-pocket costs for doctor’s visits and treatments.

Fill out the wellness form

Some companies are offering discounts, and even gift cards for filling out a health assessment form. It may seem tedious, but it will take all of fifteen minutes.

Stretch your drug benefit

Most prescription plans are divided into generic medications, preferred brand name medications and non-preferred medications. Generic drugs are the most cost efficient way to go; the cost is about $10 on average.

If there is no generic version of the medication you need, you can talk to your doctor about ensuring that it is a preferred brand name which will cost about $30 as opposed to $50-$100 for non-preferred versions.

Hopefully these are simple tips that will make a difference to your wallet.

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