Price increases are common across industries, and even though that’s an accepted fact it doesn’t make your wallet feel any better. When it comes to health insurance, what can help alleviate this pain is understanding why costs go up — and what you can try to do to minimize these price hikes. One of the dangers of cost increases to your insurance plans is blind acceptance: have your services changed? Are there new plans in place? Has there been an institutional shift at your insurance company, and does that change benefit you? Stay vigilant and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Impact of Inflation and Medical Advancements
Unsurprisingly, health insurance premiums rise with inflation. But they also increase due to advancements in the medical field: expensive technology that can more quickly determine diagnostics and give patients firmer information faster also affect prices while benefiting the insured.
Detriment of Data Mining
Insurance companies also harvest data to determine the cost their users should pay. If your company is comprised of a certain demographic, your insurance plan may monitor usage and update costs accordingly. For example, if your company is made up of men ages 40-60 and men in that demographic are going to a certain doctor with greater frequency, your plan may note that and adjust.
How to Maximize Your Plan Coverage and Minimize the Rate Hikes
While rising group health insurance costs are often an inconvenient truth, it’s important to know what you can get out of your health plan so you can make the most of it. Learn how many eye, dental, and general practitioner visits you are allotted each year, what your co-pay is, and what your premiums are. And don’t let them go to waste! You are paying for a service, and your money goes straight to your insurance company if you do not make use of it.
Get to know your company’s habits — it’s advisable to distribute surveys, perhaps every other year, to get a sense of how often employees make use of certain insurance benefits and what services they need. By studying habits and group coverage needs, you can decrease your premiums. If you see your company is not in need of a particular service, considering switching to an alternative plan that might be cheaper without it. The more informed you are, the cheaper your costs can be.
Deciphering insurance plans and premiums can be difficult. If you want to work with an insurance broker to see if your plans are being maximally utilized for your company, speak with our insurance broker at Dawson over a free consultation call.