Tag Archives: health insurance

5 Simple Ways to Save on Health Care Costs

save money health care medical bills health insuranceEvery year health care costs seem to raise higher and higher. Whether it’s copays and premiums, doctor’s visits, or prescription drugs, medical costs can eat up your pay check pretty quickly.

High deductible plans are becoming more popular in employer-provided plans, which means you pay more cash out of your pocket upfront. Health insurance plans are choosing not to cover prescription drugs more often than not. Doctor’s fees are going up because they have to pay their growing bills too.


Even though medical costs are rising and there is no perfect health insurance policy to ease the pain, you can still save money on health care by following these 5 simple steps.


Know what your health insurance plan covers

Knowing what your health insurance plan covers can save you hundreds. If you know that your plan covers a certain amount for an emergency room visit but covers even more for a clinic visit, that will help you make the best decision for your bank account. Find out what your plan offers for preapprovals, doctor visit copays, emergency room visits, and medical procedures. Also be familiar and take advantage of any preventative tests and procedures that are 100% covered.


Need more information on health insurance plans? Have questions about yours or curious if you can get a cheaper plan? JR Carnahan Insurance would be happy to help find the best solution for your specific needs!


Shop around for medical prescriptions

Always ask your doctor if there is a generic version of a medication as those are usually cheaper than the brand name. In addition, don’t just settle for the closest CVS, call different pharmacies to see what prices they can offer. Another option is to shop online for your ongoing prescription drugs.


Double check your bills and negotiate big ones

insurance companies and doctor offices are run by people, which means mistakes happen. Read your bills very carefully and check for errors. Make sure the math is correct and the procedures listed are what you actually received. If you end up in the hospital or undergoing an expensive procedure, always ask for an itemized bill to check for errors. Also talk with the billing department to see if they offer discounts for paying in cash, payment plans, or financial aid.


Use a flexible spending account

Using a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) allows you to contribute pretax dollars to an account to be used for medical expenses only. Some employers might even match or contribute to the account also. This deduction not only lowers your taxable income, but it can also be used on things like toothpaste, band aids, shampoo, and over the counter medications. Check with your employer or the bank to see what can be purchased with your account.


Prevent, Prevent, Prevent!

The best way to save on medical costs is to stay healthy. Eating right, exercising, drinking water, and getting enough sleep can contribute to a healthier future and thus, a deeper pocket. Visit your primary care physician annually to stay on top of rising conditions that could be prevented with a few simple lifestyle changes.
Even with the rising health care costs, you don’t have to pay and arm and a leg for your medical needs. Taking the time to shop around, save up, and live a healthy lifestyle is worth it!

Take a Break Labor Day and Let Your Insurance do the Work

happy labor dayOur country was founded by hard working men and women who gave their blood, sweat, and tears so that we can enjoy the American Dream.

And it’s because of people like them that the American Dream lives on.

That’s why JR Carnahan’s goal is to serve everyone with excellence. Our goal is to go above and beyond to make sure your expectations are exceeded and all your insurance needs are met. Each of our clients have different needs and we work hard to make sure their insurance plans are specialized and prepared just for them!

It’s our little contribution in keeping the American Dream alive.

This Labor Day is a great time to consider the security that an insurance plan can offer you and your family. Whether it’s health, life, auto, or business insurance, give yourself a break and let JR Carnahan worry about the “what-ifs” of life. For all of your insurance needs, don’t wait to contact us at JR Carnahan Insurance!

Now it’s time to relax!

As we celebrate Labor Day, we want to thank all those who help achieve the strength, prosperity, and well-being of this country. You work hard to provide for your family, serve the work force, and give back to your community.

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday!

In celebration of Labor Day, our offices will be closed on September 7th. We want to give our hard-working team a much-deserved rest! Fear not, we’ll be back to serve you bright and early on the 8th!

Advantages to Hiring an Insurance Broker Over Buying Direct

In the age of online shopping, people want fast, easy, and convenient, even when it comes to their insurance policies. Most people are now purchasing their insurance coverage online, directly from the insurance company, versus going through an insurance agent or broker.

But there are still advantages to hiring an individual insurance agent over buying directly from the insurance company.

Here are just a few:

insurance broker agent First of all, an insurance broker can save you money.

They are professionally trained to choose the best policy for their clients. Because they have access to hundreds of prices and coverages from different insurance companies, they are often able to snag a better deal than what you could get for yourself.

Secondly, purchasing insurance through a broker is easier than buying direct.

Not only do most agents offer and manage all types of insurance coverage, they are also easier to get in touch with. Agents are quicker to respond to emails and phone calls, and will respond personally, versus an insurance company that uses a call center and can take days to respond.

Another reason an insurance agent might prove better for the client than purchasing direct is that they can provide ease of mind.

Insurance is complicated and brokers are trained to understand the ins and outs and educate their customers. They will spend time explaining each policy so the insured can make an educated decision with peace of mind. When you buy direct the risk of making a mistake or misunderstanding a policy is larger than using an insurance broker to be your middle man.

While there is nothing wrong with purchasing insurance directly from an insurance company, there are certain services and protections you might forfeit.

Our recommendation is to trust a broker to shop and manage your insurance policies for you. There’s a good chance you’ll end up saving money and having more peace of mind!

Do I Really Need Health Insurance as a Young, Healthy Adult?

young healthy adult health insurance The last thing on the mind of a young, healthy 20 or 30-something is health insurance. Deemed the “young invincibles”, young adults who have no serious or ongoing medical concerns often try to justify not paying for health insurance.

It might seem like a waste of money to pay a monthly insurance premium when you only visit the doctor 1-2 times a year for a head cold or stomach bug. However, most people don’t realize the risk they are taking by not carrying a health insurance policy.

Here is why you should purchase health insurance coverage even if you are a young, healthy adult:

1. It’s the Law

With new Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, everyone is now required by law to carry health insurance. If you choose not to, you will be penalized and required to pay fines when you file your annual income tax. In 2015, the fine is $325/adult and $162.50 for each child or 2% of your family’s yearly taxable income. In 2016, these fines double.

2. It’s Financially Smart

There are countless stories of young adults who do not have health insurance being financially devastated by one little injury or illness. It doesn’t take much to rack up the costs. For example, a ride in an ambulance can cost up to $3,000, a single night in the hospital might be near $10,000, and an MRI up to $4,000. Even a quick trip to a doc-in-the-box can be upwards of $100. Not to mention the doctors fees, medicine, and income you’ll miss from not being at work.

3. No One is Invincible

At some point, everyone needs health insurance. Whether it’s the flu, a sprained ankle, or something more serious, health insurance can go a long way to cover some hefty bills.
If you have no significant, ongoing medical concerns, then it’s easy to feel invincible and justify not carrying a health insurance policy. But the truth is that life is unpredictable. You might be healthy and strong one day and bed-ridden the next.

In summary, don’t ever, ever, ever take the risk of not carrying health insurance.

As frustrating as it is to pay a monthly premium when you are young and healthy, it is financially, emotionally, and legally well worth it in the long run.

There are plenty of affordable health insurance plans available if you know where to look. Let us know if you need any guidance on a health insurance plan that’s right for you. We’ve helped countless young adults purchase low cost health insurance policies.