When it comes to health insurance and choosing a health insurance plan, the majority of Americans don’t really know what they’re doing.
In fact, only four percent can correctly define all the terms involved in determining their health insurance premiums.
Are you part of the majority? If you’re feeling confused about health insurance and are having trouble choosing a plan, it’s okay. We’re here to help.
One of the first things you need to understand is that a number of factors influence the price of your insurance plan, including your age.
Read on to learn more about the cost of insurance rates by age.
Insurance Rates by Age: What You Need to Know
Generally speaking, insurance premiums are lower the younger you are. If you are in your twenties or thirties, you’re going to pay less for health insurance than someone who is older.
There are several reasons for this. The main reason, though, is that younger people are generally much healthier than their older counterparts. As a young person, you’re less likely to need to go to the doctor, which means there are fewer costs for your insurance provider to help cover.
Older people are more likely to require ongoing medical care for chronic conditions, too.
These conditions include things like diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and poor vision. When you’re young, you’re also less likely to require surgeries, specialist treatments, and extensive tests.
Other Factors that Affect Insurance Premiums
As you can see, age plays a significant role in the cost of your health insurance. It’s not the only factor that matters when you’re choosing a plan, though.
Here are some other factors that can influence your health insurance premiums:
- Body Mass Index — a higher BMI has been linked to an increased risk of illness and a need for specialized treatment
- Tobacco Use, which is also tied to an increased risk of disease
- Gender — premiums for women are usually higher than premiums for men
- Pre-existing Medical Conditions — these conditions can be costly for insurance providers, which results in higher premiums for you
- Family History of certain illnesses, such as cancer
- Working in a Dangerous Profession that exposes you to dangerous chemicals or is associated with high injury or illness rates
- Location — certain areas of the country are associated with higher disease rates and increased medical costs
- Marital Status — married couples tend to be healthier and live longer than single folks
- Type of Plan you purchase — e.g., Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, or Catastrophic
Individuals who were previously uninsured or are buying insurance for the first time may also be charged higher premiums. This is because insurance companies assume you were waiting to get health insurance until health problems arose.
They also assume that, if you haven’t been insured, you have not received regular checkups and preventative care. This increases your risk of having health problems that will require treatment.
How to Save Money on Health Insurance
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that influence the cost of your health insurance. Do any of the factors listed above apply to you, such as a family history of a certain illness or being female?
You can’t change some of those factors, such as your gender or pre-existing conditions. Luckily, though, there are still lots of things you can do to reduce your health insurance costs. The following are some options you might want to consider:
Buy Short Term Health Insurance
If you are young and healthy and don’t need a lot of coverage, or if you just need insurance to tide you over while you’re in between jobs, short term health insurance is a great option.
These plans are highly affordable and can be renewed easily if you find that you need coverage longer than you originally thought.
You can also enroll in short term insurance plans at any time of the year. There’s no need to wait for open enrollment.
Compare All Your Options
Before you decide to buy a particular insurance plan, be sure to compare several different options to make sure you’re getting the best one.
Lots of online insurance sites feature tools that make it easy for you to compare quotes from various providers and find a plan that provides you with the best value.
Consider an HSA
An HSA, or Health Savings Account, is a tax-free savings account. You can use the money you deposit in this account to pay for all kinds of healthcare-related costs, including prescription drugs and copays.
An HSA is especially helpful paired with a higher deductible plan. You can use the money in your account to pay for your healthcare costs until you’ve met your deductible.
Some people also use an HSA as a tool to help them save more money for retirement.
Work with a Broker
Are you part of the 96 percent of Americans who are unclear about health insurance specifics? If so, why risk making a mistake — potentially a costly one — while you’re shopping for insurance?
Don’t leave your insurance premiums to chance. Instead, work with an insurance broker when you’re shopping for the right plan.
A broker will help you understand the pros and cons of each pan and recommend the best one for you based on your age, lifestyle, and other circumstances.
Shop for Health Insurance Today
Now that you know more about differences in the cost of insurance rates by age and how you can save money on insurance, it’s time to let the shopping begin.
Keep this information mind as you’re shopping and comparing plans. That way, you’ll be able to get the best rates possible while still making sure all your basic healthcare needs are covered.
At Custom Health Plans, we make it easy for you to shop for insurance online and find a plan that works for you.
Whether you’re shopping for short term insurance, individual health insurance, or any other type of plan, there are lots of options available for you.
You can also get a free quote online today!