Be ready with three smart ways to save.
Planning to enroll in a health plan through an Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace? Open enrollment for 2020 coverage runs from November 1 — December 15.
The good news: According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the average premium for the benchmark plan (the second lowest-cost silver plan) will be down 4% in 2020 as compared to last year.
While premiums may drop for some, deductibles in these silver plans (the option most people enroll in) are still high. That means you pay more out of pocket before your plan starts to pay.
But here are smart ways to keep those costs down.
- Take advantage of free services covered by your plan.
By law, ACA plans must provide some level of coverage for a set of services called essential health benefits. This includes a set of preventive services — think immunizations, contraception and screenings for depression, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, various types of cancer and more — that most plans must cover at 100%, if you see an in-network provider. Review this list of preventive health services and choose a plan that offers full coverage for what you’ll need.
- Use Blink Health to save on generic prescriptions.
Even if you have health coverage, some prescription drugs can still be unaffordable. (In fact, sometimes your copay is higher than the pharmacy’s cash price.) When you get a prescription from your provider, look up the medication on the Blink Health app or website. If the Blink price is cheaper than your pharmacy’s cash price or what you’d pay using your insurance plan, just pay for your medication online, then pick it up at a nearby in-network pharmacy or have it delivered to your home for free.
- Open a Health Savings Account.
Also known as an HSA, this type of savings account is only available to those with a deductible of at least $1,400 for an individual or $2,800 for a family — these are what the IRS considers high deductible health plans in 2020. An HSA is most notable for its tax benefits: The money you deposit into it is tax-deductible, and you don’t pay any taxes on funds you withdraw to pay for qualified medical expenses. You can open an HSA through a bank, or possibly even through your health insurance company or employer.
Blink Health is not insurance. The discount prescription drug provider is Blink Health Administration, LLC, 536 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10012, (844) 366–2211, www.blinkhealth.com