How to Save with Health Insurance

There are a variety of ways you can save money on your health insurance costs.

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One very important aspect of health care reform is the financial assistance the federal government provides to lower monthly premiums and limit out-of-pocket expenses for people who qualify. They are also called subsidies.

If prescription drugs are a significant part of the costs you pay, here are some ways you may be able to reduce what you spend on them.

  • Buy generic - Generic drugs cost up to 80 percent less than their brand-name counterparts and are made with the same active ingredients. Ask your doctor if any of the prescription medications you are currently taking can be filled with a generic alternative.
  • Use the mail for maintenance medications - By using our Mail Service Pharmacy program, you can save the most money on your maintenance medications—those drugs taken daily to treat a chronic condition like high cholesterol—by having them delivered right to your home. You can get up to a three-month supply of your medications for the cost of two copays.
  • Use drugs on the Preferred Drug List - The drugs on CareFirst’s Preferred Drug list have been reviewed for quality, effectiveness, safety and cost by an independent national committee of health care professionals. The CareFirst Preferred Drug List identifies generic and preferred brand drugs that may save you money. Review our Preferred Drug List (also referred to as Abridged Exchange Formulary) .

An HSA is a tax-exempt medical savings account that can be used to pay for your and your dependents’ eligible medical expenses. HSAs enable you to pay for current health expenses and save for future qualified health expenses on a tax-free basis. We offer several plans that coordinate with an HSA and feature higher deductibles and lower premiums.

Knowing where to go when you need medical care is key to getting the best treatment and paying the least. One of the best places you will get consistent, quality health care is your primary care provider, also known as your PCP.

If your PCP is not available, you have many choices for care. Just keep in mind where you decide to receive care—like an urgent care center or the emergency room—has a direct impact on how much you will pay for those services.

Some of your choices for non-life threatening medical care include convenience care centers—also known as retail health clinics as they are located inside a retail store like CVS, Target or Walgreens—or urgent care centers (for example, Patient First, Righttime and Doctors Express). Both convenience care and urgent care centers accept walk-in patients and can treat minor injuries and illness.

Also keep in mind:

  1. Have lab work done in your plan's network.
  2. Have outpatient surgery done at a freestanding surgery center, not a hospital.
  3. Don't schedule doctor's visits at the hospital – you’ll often get charged by the doctor and by the hospital.
  4. Use a convenience care or urgent care center for non-life threatening emergencies.

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