Health Insurance Tricks That Can Save You Thousands

Health insurance can be expensive, meaning many people are hesitant to purchase it, or to purchase enough coverage for their actual needs. But going uninsured, or underinsured, can be dangerous, and could end up costing you more in the long run. So what can you do? Fortunately,  there are ways that you can cut down on health insurance costs so that you can be fully protected when you need medical care. The following tricks can help you save thousands of dollars on health insurance, as well as on your medical expenses. Want to save even more? Work with an EZ agent, who can find you the best plan at the best price.

graph with coins moving up and a red arrow moving upwards
A higher deductible plan will have lower monthly premiums, which is best for people who are healthy.

Choose a Higher Deductible

If you’re relatively healthy and don’t go to the doctor often or require ongoing care, you might be better off considering a high deductible health insurance plan. As the name implies, a high deductible health insurance plan will have a higher annual deductible than other plans, but it will also have lower monthly premiums. That means this type of plan is typically ideal if you are healthier, because you probably won’t have to meet the high deductible, but you will be paying lower premiums each month, which can save you thousands of dollars a year.

Consider a HSA

Health Savings Accounts, or HSAs, were created as a way to help pay for the medical expenses that your health insurance plan doesn’t cover. These savings accounts are only compatible with high deductible health plans that are specifically tagged “HSA-eligible.” But if you have one of these plans, a HSA is a great addition to it: these accounts earn interest like a traditional savings account, but they are not taxed like one. In addition, if you make a withdrawal from the account to pay for a qualified expense, that amount will not be taxed.

Get Care from the Right Place

If you or your child get sick when your doctor’s office is closed, you might feel like the best thing to do is head to the emergency room for care, but that can be very expensive. There are other options that you can consider which can help you save money, such as urgent care clinics or even telemedicine. 

Re-Consider Tests

If you’re looking for a diagnosis for a medical condition, speak to your doctor about which tests, such as lab work, x-rays, or MRIs, are necessary, and what course of action you might be able to take before you jump right to the most expensive diagnostic tools. For example, instead of starting with an expensive MRI scan, talk to your doctor about getting lab work done first, to see if the issue can be diagnosed that way.

Go Genericmedicine sitting on top of money

Generic medications are just as effective as name-brand medications, the only difference is generic medications are generally 30 to 50% cheaper than their name-brand counterparts. That means generic prescriptions often end up saving people almost $2,000 a year or more on medication alone.

Enroll in a Wellness Incentive

Some insurance companies offer lower premiums if you participate in wellness challenges related to preventative health. Speak to your insurer to see if they offer any wellness incentives that could help you get healthier, and lower your insurance costs. 


If you have received a big medical bill, and are having trouble paying it, all hope is not lost. You can try negotiating your medical bills. Some providers will allow you to set up a payment plan or will waive certain fees. In addition, if you speak to your insurance company, you might even find that there is an error in your bill, and you might owe less than you think you do. 

Re-evaluate Your Plan

One of the best things that you can do to save money on your health insurance is to re-evaluate it every year instead of just allowing it to renew without reviewing it. Make sure you review any correspondence that you receive related to your plan, so you’re aware of any upcoming changes, and to make sure that your plan still fits your needs and budget. If you’re not happy with your health insurance plan, don’t be afraid to compare other plans and look elsewhere for a better one that suits you. This is where EZ can help!

hundred dollar bills piled up
An EZ agent will help you find a plan, while saving you hundreds of dollars a year.

Save With EZ

What exactly are you looking for in a plan? Do you have a family you need to cover?  Do you have kids who play sports, who will require a little extra coverage? Or are you single and need the bare minimum for the what-ifs? Whatever the case may be, take the time to determine what kind of plan and coverage you need. With all of the subsidies now available, there is no better time to reconsider getting a health insurance plan, or to look at your current one to make sure it covers your needs. 

And if your plan doesn’t cover everything you need it to, it’s time to find a plan that does, so you can save as much money as possible. If you’re shopping for a plan, your best bet is to speak to a licensed EZ agent. Our agents work with the top-rated insurance companies in the nation, so we can compare plans in minutes. We will not only find a plan that has all the benefits you’re looking for, but we will also make sure the plan fits your budget. To get free instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to a local agent, call 888-350-1890. No obligation.

The CARES Act Offers Flexibility for HRAs, FSA & HSAs

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was created to provide economic assistance to families, workers, and businesses during these uncertain times. One important thing the CARES Act has done is to allow more flexibility for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), or Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). Now, some over-the-counter medications and other common healthcare items will be eligible for reimbursement. Prior to the passage of this act, these medications were only eligible for reimbursement with a prescription.

illustration of 3 bottles of medications, one with green pills and one yellow
The CARES Act has made over-the-counter medications eligible for reimbursement through HSAs, FSAs and HRAs.

The Changes

If you are an employer who offers HSAs, FSAs, or HRAs, it is important that you make your employees aware of the new rules put in place by the CARES Act. They can now use their HSA or FSA to get reimbursed for over-the-counter medicine, as well as for healthcare items like feminine hygiene products. Before this act was passed, employees needed a prescription from their doctor just to get something as simple as Tylenol reimbursed through their HSA, FSA, or HRA. The change began retroactively as of January 1, 2020, which means reimbursements can be filed for over-the-counter medicine or other newly eligible products purchased anytime since January 1, 2020.

What Is Considered Eligible?

The CARES Act has made thousands of items eligible for reimbursement, including the following medications and healthcare products:

3 tampons over a stack of wrapped up pads
Feminine hygiene products will also be covered for reimbursement.
  • Acne medications
  • Sleep aids
  • Digestive aids, including laxatives
  • Tampons, pads, and liners
  • Cold, cough, and flu medicine
  • Allergy and sinus medicine
  • Anti-inflammatory medicine
  • Pain relievers
  • Baby rash ointments
  • Medications for eczema and psoriasis
  • Acid controllers

You and your employees might have had a rough year, but the government has been working on ways to lessen some of the burdens. These over-the-counter medications and other healthcare products being offered for reimbursement without a prescription will allow your employees to seek treatment for simple things without having to go to the doctor and pay a copay. 

If you do not already offer a HRA or group insurance to your employees, but are considering choosing to help them with healthcare costs, EZ can help. We can review all the available plans in your area and help guide you towards the most affordable ones with the best coverage options. You care about your employees and we care about helping you find a plan that meets all your needs. We will provide you with one agent to work with you and compare all available plans in your area for free. To get instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or if you wish to speak directly with one of our agents, call 888-998-2027. There is no hassle or obligation.

Pre-Tax vs After-Tax Deductions

If you are thinking of offering group insurance or a HRA to your employees, or if you are already offering them one or both, you might be wondering how to withhold employee insurance premiums and your contributions from their paycheck. Do the deductions come out of their paycheck pre-tax or after-tax? In some cases, you can deduct their premium and your contributions from their paychecks pre-tax; other premiums may need to be deducted after-tax. It is important to know what kinds of contributions can be deducted pre-tax, as well as the advantage and disadvantages of doing so. 

Pre-Tax Deductions

silhouette of a group of people standing in front of a large red heart.
Group health insurance deductions can be taken pre-tax.

Taking a pre-tax deduction means that you, the employer, withdraw money directly from your employees’ paychecks to cover the cost of benefits before income or payroll taxes are withheld. Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 125 allows for payroll deductions to be taken pre-tax for certain benefits, including:

In order to know which pre-tax benefits are exempt from state and local taxes, you will have to check your state and local laws. 

What is the advantage of deducting premiums and contributions from your employees’ paychecks pre-tax? For employees, when premiums and contributions are deducted pre-tax, the amount of income that they have to pay taxes on is reduced, in some cases by up to 40%. 

Doing this not only benefits your employees, it also benefits you; pre-tax deductions lower your tax liability, including the Federal Unemployment Tax (FUCA), State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) and FICA. For every dollar contributed to a retirement account, FSA or insurance plan, an employee’s taxable income is decreased accordingly. Your employees’ paychecks will effectively be lowered, meaning you will pay less in payroll taxes. 

The drawback is that your employee might owe taxes on the money you withheld in the future. This is because they did not pay any federal, state, and local taxes on the contributions at the time they were withheld. These taxes were simply deferred. For example, when your employee retires and begins drawing on their 401(k), they will owe taxes on the money they use from their pre-taxed 401(k) plan. 

After-Tax Deductions

caucasian female hand holding up hundred dollar bills.
Contributions to retirement plans and other benefits are deducted after income and payroll taxes are deducted. 

After-tax premiums and contributions are deducted from your employees’ paychecks after income and payroll taxes are deducted. Unlike pre-tax deductions, these will not affect your employee’s taxable income. However, you and your employee will owe more payroll taxes with after-tax deductions. If premiums are deducted after-tax, your employees will not pay taxes when using the benefits in the future, such as when they withdraw money from a post-tax retirement or health arrangement plan. Common after-tax premiums include:

  • Some retirement plans (such as a Roth 401(k) plan)
  • Disability insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Major medical coverage purchased by an employee on their own

Need Help?

If you need help finding group insurance, a HSA, FSA, or HRA, then EZ.Insure can help. We want to make sure that you save as much money as possible, which is why we compare all plans in your area, for free. We will assess your business’ and employees’ needs and find the best plan that will help cut costs, not coverage. If you need help figuring out which plans qualify for pre-tax and post-tax deductions, we can help with that too. We will answer your questions and guide you through the process. To start comparing plans for free, simply enter your zip code on the bar above, or to speak directly with an agent, call 888-998-2027.