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Health Care & Insurance

Pay Less for Health and Insurance Costs

1. Reshop Life Insurance Rates Are Lower, Even Though You're Older: Premiums have plummeted over the past decade, and you may be able to save hundreds of dollars by reshopping your policy, even though you're older now. Term-insurance prices varied widely in 1998, and many major insurers were charging a 40-year-old man at least $750 per year for a $500,000, 20-year term policy. Today, a healthy 50-year-old man can buy a $500,000 ten-year term policy (which expires in the same year) for just $445 -- a savings of more than $300 per year. Compare prices among dozens of insurers at Accuquote.com.

Annual Savings: $300
(on a ten-year term policy for a 50-year-old)

2. Save on Meds Generics Pummel Pill Prices: Try switching from brand-name prescription drugs to generics or other low-cost alternatives. A 50-year-old couple taking five common drugsÑa cholesterol-lowering medication for each, plus high-blood-pressure and enlarged-prostate drugs for the husband and an osteoporosis drug for the wifeÑcould lower their monthly costs from about $575 to $37 by switching to generics and shopping at a lower-cost pharmacy. Find alternatives for your medications at Destination Rx.

Annual Savings: $797
(by switching blood-pressure medication Norvasc to the generic brand at a big-box store)

3. Insure for Less Lower Your Home Premiums: Raising the deductible on your homeowners insurance policy from $250 to $1,000 or $2,500 can lower your premiums by 15% to 25% per year. For example, boosting the deductible from $250 to $1,000 on a house insured for $250,000 in northern California reduces the average annual premium at the 22 companies in InsWeb's database by $188; raising the deductible from $250 to $2,500 lowers the average premium by $319.

Annual Savings: $319
(on a house insured for $250,000)

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4. Raise Your Limits Boost the Deductibles: Increasing the deductibles on your comprehensive and collision coverage from $500 to $1,000, or even $2,500, can reduce your premiums by 12% to 18%. For example, boosting the deductibles from $500 to $1,000 would mean a savings of $648 per year, on average, for a northern California family with two teenage drivers, according to the database at InsWeb, an insurance Web site. Raising the deductibles from $250 to $2,500 lowers the average premium by $1,503.

Annual Savings: $648
(with a $1,000 deductible and two teenagers)

TOTAL ANNUAL INSURANCE SAVINGS: $2,064


Slideshow: Top Savings Tips for 2009
Save $50 a Day
Pay Less for Banking & Loans
Pay Less for Health and Insurance Costs
Pay Less for Utilities
Pay Less for Food
Pay Less for Transportation
Pay Less for Investing Costs
Pay Less for Leisure
Pay Less for Must-Have Trends
PLUS: How These Super Savers Do It