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8 Ways to Get Your Health Plan to Cover More of Your Care


We don't have to tell you that the cost of health insurance has been steadily rising. The average U.S. worker with employer-provided coverage now pays $9,695 per year in premiums and other out-of-pocket costs for a family of four, according to the Milliman Medical Index. Compare that with the average bare-bones bronze-level policy sold on the state health insurance exchanges for 2014, which had a deductible of $4,343 for individual coverage.

Now that policies are legally required to cover certain services, insurers are intensifying efforts to rein in costs by shifting more of the burden to you. In addition to boosting deductibles, they are increasing cost-sharing for doctors' visits, drugs and procedures, and switching from fixed-dollar co-payments to coinsurance, which is based on the cost of care.

You'll pay even more if you don't follow a strict set of rules, such as staying within limited networks of medical providers or using the pharmacies and other facilities with which insurers have negotiated discounts. But, if you are privy to the secrets of insurers, you can slash your share of the expenses. Here are 8 ways to cut your costs by getting your health plan to pay more.

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