Managing your Cost

The cost of your health care is more than just the premiums that you pay each month. This section of the guide will explain the kinds of costs that you may experience and also some of the calculations involved, to give you a better understanding. This section also offers advice on how to handle unexpected costs and how to understand your bill.

Topic Area: Understanding Your Costs

Premiums – the basics

premium is the amount you pay for health insurance every month. Just like your car or home insurance, it’s the amount you pay to the insurance company so that you’re covered―whether you use it or not.

If you receive healthcare coverage through your work, your employer may pay a percentage of your premium, with the rest being deducted from your paycheck (you can review your pay stub or contact your employer for more information).

Premiums can vary quite a bit depending on the details of your plan and the benefits it provides. Learn more.

  • A good rule of thumb is that the less you are required to pay out-of-pocket when you use healthcare services, the higher your premium. If you don’t expect to need much care and/or you have savings set aside to cover unexpected healthcare expenses, you could save on premiums by choosing a plan with higher our-of-pocket and less rich benefits.
  • On the other hand, if you expect to need more care, or would rather pay more each month to know your costs will be lower when you go to the doctor, you can pay higher premiums for a plan with a lower deductible and richer benefits.

Check out the Getting Health Insurance section for more on choosing coverage.

Health and dental insurance for adults are typically provided through different plans ― often by different insurance companies ― and therefore have separate premiums.


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