10 smart moves to save on health care

Understand your insurance coverage

You’re already paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year for health insurance.

To minimize your additional costs, you must understand your plan.

Your private health insurance plan is required to give you a form clearly explaining your benefits. Consumer Reports provides a sample here.

The key insurance plan features you should understand, include:

  • In- and out-of-network annual deductibles for you and your family.
  • In- and out-of-network annual out-of-pocket maximum.
  • What costs don’t count toward the out-of-pocket maximum (insurance premiums, for example).
  • The percentage of in- and out-of-network costs you’ll pay (often 20% and 40% coinsurance) after meeting each deductible.
  • Additional deductibles for specific services, like prescriptions.
  • Whether you need a referral to see a specialist.
  • Copayment amounts for doctor’s visits, tests and emergency room visits.
  • Excluded services like cosmetic surgery or infertility treatments.