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August 12, 2013

The current healthcare system is changing and the new regulations created by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, are slowly taking effect. The system, structure and cost of healthcare will change as a result in the coming years. This makes it even more important for Americans to educate themselves about the changes to the healthcare system, and keep themselves informed about how the reduce and minimize the cost of healthcare even in the changing healthcare system. Below are a few ways that individuals can save money on health insurance currently and in the coming years.

Keeping Informed About New Legislation

The most obvious and effective way of reducing costs and saving money on healthcare insurance is simply to keep oneself informed about the incoming changes to the healthcare system. There is a tendency for individuals to only acquaint themselves with new regulations once they've already taken effect. By knowing about the new laws ahead of time, individuals can take advantage of unique savings the moment they become available. For example, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, individuals may qualify for certain insurance rebates, mandating that 80% of insurance premiums being spent on actual healthcare costs. Customers should then check towards their insurance costs and usage to see if they qualify for a rebate. There are other examples of such savings, but they mainly support the point that these savings are only available to those who read the fine print and are aware of the new policies.

Choose the Least Expensive Option

Saving money on healthcare insurance can sometimes mean thinking outside the box and knowing all the options available. For example, it may save an individual money to pay out-of-pocket in some instances than using their healthcare plan for every healthcare expense. Generic drugs can be purchased at a fraction of the price compared to brand-name drugs, and with similar or even identical effects. This is because generic drugs don't bear the same research costs as brand name drugs, and therefore do not have the huge cost premium that large healthcare development companies may charge customers. It may also be due to expiring patents on such drugs that make them available on the market for a fraction of the price in the form of generic drugs. Therefore, it is important for individuals to be aware of the options that are available to them and make their decision appropriately, even if it may not be the most conventional or obvious option.

Travelling to Reduce Medical Expenses

How to save money on healthcare
One little known piece of knowledge about the healthcare system and medical procedures in general is the fact that such medical costs are not uniform throughout the world. Costs of equipment, prescriptions, and services vary greatly depending on the location of the services, and a great deal of money can be saved by researching properly and finding the lowest cost for expensive procedures. Some people even travel abroad to take advantage of low healthcare costs. This can mean thousands of dollars of savings or more for expensive procedures that make it worthwhile, although it depends on the state of patient and its urgency.

Be Aware of Preventive Care

The cheapest way to deal with an illness is prevention. This is even more important under new regulations under the Affordable Care Act, where preventive care may be covered under new plans. This means that preventive measures such as mammograms, immunizations, and other ways of preventing expensive illnesses before they arise may be more accessible and cheaper to access.

This can cause significant savings in the long run because the small fixed cost of immunization and prevention is far less than the cost of treatment and opportunity cost of time away from work in all major illnesses.

About the Author:

health insurance
Brenda Panin is a passionate blogger from Australia interested in personal finance and marketing related topics. Useful information for this article has been kindly provided by iSelect.
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