We firmly believe that everyone should carry some form of health insurance – even in a place like Hong Kong with relatively good public healthcare. That being said, a lot of people still feel the strain health insurance premiums put on their wallets. As premiums continue to go up and up something has to be done.
In this article, I wanted to share with you some tips I give my clients on how to lower their health insurance premiums without materially sacrificing the cover they need.
Adjusting Excesses & Deductibles
The quickest and easiest way to lower your health insurance premium is to raise your deductible.
The deductible (sometimes called the excess in health insurance) is the amount you have to pay out of pocket before any medical costs would be reimbursed. If you had a HK$15,000 deductible and a HK$25,000 medical bill, the insurer would only reimburse you for HK$10,000 (the excess).
Even a small adjustment can lead to big savings but be careful; you don’t want to raise it so high that you’ll never be able to claim anything. Think carefully or speak to your advisor before doing this.
The co-pay (sometimes called coinsurance) is the percentage of healthcare costs you’re required to pay alongside the insurer. For example, if you had a 20% co-pay policy and the insurer is covering HK$1,000 of your doctor’s visit, you would be required to pay HK$200 and the insurer would pay the rest.
Increasing the co-pay helps you save money the same way increasing your deductible would – by reducing the cost your insurer would have to pay. But again, be careful about raising this so high that you don’t get enough cover from your insurer.
Another way you can save money on your health insurance premiums is to take a reduced network. Many insurers will try to reduce costs by only covering medical costs from doctors or facilities in their “network”. That way, insurers are able to save money by pre-negotiating discounted prices for their customers.
Policies without (or with less) network restrictions will be more expensive than those with restrictions because insurers are less able to control prices.
Risk Management Discounts
Insurance companies are also slowly beginning to catch up to tech trends like wearable technology. Many are beginning to offer discounted rates for people who wear a Fitbit-style device and hit certain fitness or health milestones like weight loss goals. While the practice is not widespread yet, it can be a good way to save money while doing the activities you already enjoy.
Want More Ways to Save on Your Health Insurance Premiums?
Get in touch with a Trusted Union advisor. We can analyze your policy for savings or shop it around to help you get the best rates possible. You can read whole series ( Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4 ) for brief knowledge about reducing the cost of health insurance.