Affordable Healthcare: How to Save on Health Insurance, Prescription Drugs and Medical Bills

It's open enrollment season for health insurance -- learn how to pick the best plan and get tips on other ways to save

How to Find an Affordable Plan
If you are among the 50 million uninsured Americans and you’re relatively healthy, a High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) is probably your best bet. HDHPs are a relatively recent option in health coverage -- they have higher deductibles than traditional health plans, but much lower premiums.

Three ways an HDHP can save you money:
1. An HDHP can be linked to a Health Savings Account (HSA). Like an FSA, an HSA account can be used on medical, dental and vision expenses as well as physical therapy, copays and deductibles. Here’s the best part: In addition to being tax-free, HSA funds never expire. Search your state’s Department of Health Web site for explanations of health programs, insurance options and links to HDHP providers.

2. It’s cheaper than the COBRA insurance option that allows those who’ve lost their jobs to stay on their employer’s insurance plan by paying for coverage out of pocket. COBRA is often prohibitively expensive because you pay both your portion and your former employer’s portion of the health plan.

3. HDHPs protect against financial ruin that can result from a major illness or accident.

Because HDHP plans vary by state, going to a local independent insurance agent is the best way to find the HDHP that’s right for you. Unlike an insurance company, an independent agent won’t try to sell you one specific plan. They work with a variety of plans and are knowledgeable about the complete range of options. Learn more about HDHPs and HSAs.

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