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Five Insurance Tips for Millennials

 

 

Millennials find themselves in the stage of life that may require them to purchase their own insurance. After having aged out of their parent’s insurance coverage and buying or renting a place to live, coverage needs may not be as black and white as one might think.

Knowing these five tips will help navigate through the sometimes-complicated policies out there.

  1. Shop smart for adequate coverage- Although cost is an important factor, having the coverage you need is equally important. You may be tempted to choose the least expensive plan but when it comes time to make a claim, you will see less of a financial benefit. In fact, a high deductible could cause a unexpected financial burden.
  2. Look for discounts- Often insurance carriers will offer discounts for bundling services, such as your home or rental insurance and your car insurance. In addition, there are discounts for being in school and getting good grades. Be sure to ask your agent about these and other possibilities.
  3. Fill in the gaps- An average policy will provide basic coverage but that may not be enough for all your coverage needs. For instance, a rental or homeowner’s policy may not cover personal items such as jewelry over a certain dollar amount.  Be sure to ask if you have collectables or higher value items. 
  4. Purchase life insurance- Life insurance is important, no matter how old you are. For a millennial, it may also save you money on a policy in the long run. It is especially important if you have children. Life insurance can help your family cover unexpected costs in your absence. If you have children, a life insurance policy can support their education or child care expenses.
  5. Consult an independent broker or agent- Talking with an independent insurance agent is the first step in finding the coverage you need and can afford. An independent broker works with multiple providers and can help you navigate the different policies and coverage. They can also help explain some of the terms and conditions that may be difficult to understand.

 

Recent Study Looks At Health Care Pricing

According to a recently published healthcare economics paper, different insurers pay varied prices for the same services and procedures at the same hospital, indicating that bargaining leverage really does impact healthcare prices.

 

Authors took actual data from claims for three national insurers. Studies showed that dominate hospitals can dictate how much they are going to get paid for specific services and procedures. For hospitals that hold an monopoly in their area, that number was 12.5% higher than those who had nearby competitors. For more concentrated markets, providers can shift more risk to insurers, which affects the ability to keep prices at a set standard.

 

“The two main types of contracts use prospectively set prices that pay a fixed dollar amount based on the DRG classification code, or a model that sets payments as a percentage of hospital charges.
Hospitals are likely to prefer the latter because they get paid for every service they provide, and thus bear less risk. This drives prices up and also places less pressure on the hospital to reduce costs.”

 

In simply terms, it’s about negotiation. The hospital may charge $50,000 for a hip replacement, but the negotiated price may be more like $22,000, Medicare reimbursements would be even less.

 

“Researchers also found that prices increased by more than 6% when merging hospitals were less than 5 miles apart. They didn’t find significant price impact when the hospitals were separated by at least 25 miles.”

 

 

 

 

Sources: The Price Ain’t Right? Hospital Prices and Health Spending on the Privately Insured Zack Cooper (Yale University) Stuart V. Craig (University of Pennsylvania) Martin Gaynor (Carnegie Mellon University and NBER) John Van Reenen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CEP, and NBER)

Modernhealthcare.com

Health Care Cost Institute