Thursday, July 14, 2005
More Bang for Your Buck: Health Insurance
The cost of health insurance seems to always increase. If you're struggling to pay your premiums, there are options. In tonight's More Bang For Your Buck, we found there are ways to cut costs without compromising your coverage.
WSVN--You could say Ronie Foumia has a passion for protein. As owner of N-Joy nutrition, he supplies power snacks to people around the world. But when Ronie was building his business, he cut costs by cutting out his health insurance.
Ronie:"I didn't have insurance for a short period of time and insurance just wasn't that big of a priority for me because I feel I'm pretty fit and healthy."
It's no surprise why, people like Ronie go uninsured. South Florida has some of the highest premiums in the country. But there are ways you can find a plan that fits your needs and your budget.
Sam:"Do yourself a favor and take a look and you'll be surprised at how inexpensive it can be."
Sam Gibbs runs a website called e-health-insurance-dot-com. It's a free service that allows people to instantly compare over 50 plans in Florida.Sam says the best way to save is to cater your plan to your lifestyle.
Sam:"If you are relatively young and you don't use services, why pay a health insurance premium for services that your are not going to use."
Instead Sam suggests choosing a plan with a high deductible. An increase of 5-hundred or a thousand-dollar deductible can lower your cost as much as one hundred dollars monthly.
Sam:"You can find a plan for 50,60,70 dollars a month with really, really good benefits with just a slightly higher deductible."
Another option for good benefits at a good price is a temporary plan. This works best for recent college grads or employees that are not offered insurance through their employer.
Sam:"These are major medical policies. They cover the same things as permanent insurance does, but since the term is only for 6 months to a year the premium are much lower."
But if you are part of an employee health plan, try lowering your premium by shopping for a different provider.
Sam:"There is nothing that says you have to get all you insurance for your employer. If you can find a better deal somewhere else you should take a look."
Better deals also depend on where you live. For instance, this Humana PPO plan with 2
thousand-five-hundred deductible goes for $144 dollars in Dade County, but in Broward, it's $139 dollars.
Sam:"Health insurance is rated zip code to zip code."
Another solution HSA health savings account. It works like a bank account. People can invest in their HSA and roll them over year to year - tax-free.
Sam:"Then you can take that money that's left in the account and use it as a supplementary retirement account."
For Ronie, saving on insurance gives him health and wealth.
Ronie:"I feel much safer I don't have to really worry about anything happening. If I'm to play a few sports I can be a little more aggressive and not worry about twisting an ankle or getting punched in the nose."
Before you buy your insurance-- make sure the company is reputable by calling Florida's Department of Insurance.
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