Keep Pennsylvania health insurance costs affordable

Can you—the consumer–help keep Pennsylvania health insurance costs down? The answer is unequivocally YES. It’s sometimes surprising to know just how much consumers can influence the cost of health care.  Here are a few of the ways.

Do some advance planning

If your physician recommends a procedure, have a discussion with him or her about what is entailed and what kinds of costs might be involved. If it’s a significant procedure, you may need anesthesia, a hospital stay or even rehab services. You will want the big picture so that you can make the right decisions. For example, you might be assigned an anesthesiologist who is not in your Pennsylvania health insurance plan with provider’s network, which might even mean paying the whole fee yourself. If you have a choice, you should know that going in.


Even though this kind of forward planning won’t give you the total cost, it will give you an assessment you can use for budget planning and network decisions.


Healthy lifestyle counts

Many costly health problems can be headed off by eating more healthy foods and a daily exercise regime.  These are more than words; they are rooted in science.  If you smoke, you should quit immediately. Your Pennsylvania health insurance plan may even have programs to help support you in this process.  If your life is stressful, find a way to manage it, either by exercise, meditation or even therapy. Stress is a negative influence on health.  Alcohol should be consumed only in moderation.  Finally, get those recommended screenings and annual well visits to the doctor to prevent tiny problems from becoming more significant ones.


Less expensive to use in-network providers

Because Pennsylvania health insurance companies have made arrangements for their providers to charge less per visit, they want you to use those network providers and make it worth your while to do so. Your lowest co-pays will be for using in-network doctors and hospitals. You may be able to use a provider not in the network, but it will cost you more. Be sure of this, as some plans won’t reimburse you if your care is given out of the network.


Go generic

Brand name drugs are more expensive than generic. If you doctor will specify generics your co-pay will be lower.  You might also check to see if your plan has a mail-in prescription program. These are usually much cheaper than going to the store.