This is a guest post by Mary Ward

We’re all looking for simple ways to save money. And, for most of us, healthcare has been one of the costs rising the fastest. Since healthcare insurance is one of the items that families rely on most, we’re often faced with just accepting cost increases as they come. However, there are ways to save on your insurance premiums if you take the time to do the research and make changes as necessary. Here are some simple ways you may be able to cut costs on your health insurance premiums.

1. Shop around – if you haven’t evaluated other insurance options in a while, it’s time to do so. Even if you have employer provided healthcare, there may be more than one option available. If so, be certain to check it out before you simply sign up for the same plan year after year. And, don’t assume that the coverage options offered by your employer are the best or the least expensive. You might be surprised.

2. Talk to the company that provides your homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, or both. Many large companies that provide auto and homeowner’s insurance offer open enrollment healthcare coverage. If they can give you a discount based on the fact that you carry other insurance with them, you may be able to save money.

3. Investigate insurance available through groups you belong to – Your union or other professional group may offer group discounts to members or people in the same field. For senior citizens, AARP offers good and affordable healthcare coverage. It’s not just designed to be a supplement to Medicare – it’s great for those over age 50 who don’t have access to Medicare yet.

4. Review your coverage – It’s important to review your healthcare coverage periodically to ensure that you’re not paying for coverage you don’t need.

5. Switch to a high deductible plan – The higher your yearly deductible, the lower your monthly premiums. By choosing a higher deductible on your health insurance, just like your car insurance, you may be able to save a lot of money on premiums.

6. Add catastrophic coverage – Adding catastrophic coverage may allow you to reduce your other coverage, saving you money overall. Because your catastrophic kicks in on a major medical event, you may need less coverage on your primary policy, which is where most of your premium costs go.

7. Get healthy now – Make no mistake that down the road we’ll be paying more in health insurance premiums if we are higher risk. In fact, it’s already happening in some places. So, if you need to lose weight or if you smoke, take care of those issues immediately. It will lead to reduced premiums (and better health) in the long run.

Healthcare insurance is a hot topic in the US right now. While much of what we hear on the subject is simply rhetoric, we can hope that, over the long haul, we’ll all gain better health insurance at lower cost to us. In the meantime, do your homework and make sure you’re getting the best health insurance deal for your family right now.

Mary Ward is a freelance writer and likes writing about medical education topics, such as how to research and choose among online X-ray tech schools, how to apply for online college grants, and more. I thank her for this post today.