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How to save on rising costs of health insurance

Posted at 5:57 PM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-12 19:57:50-05

The average healthcare premium in Colorado increased seven percent from 2015 to 2016, according to the Division of Regulatory Agencies.

That means some saw an increase, while others experienced a decrease in premiums. But there are things you can do to reduce that extra cost or even turn it into savings.

"Health insurance premiums are going up but people can mitigate that," Colorado Division of Insurance spokesman Vincent Plymell said.

Here's how you do it:

First, know about and use tax credits.

The amount is based on your income and changes from year to year. Depending on your situation, you could end up paying less this year than last year.

"We have a number of customers who are staying on the same plan this year as last year. The premium they're required to pay is less because the tax credit went up and reduced their net premium," Connect for Health Colorado spokesman Luke Clarke said.

Second, shop around.

Insurance companies incentivize you to switch by offering low rates, similar to cable companies. Just by switching within comparable plans, we found that an individual can save eight percent on their coverage.

"It's easy and convenient to hit the renew button and go with what you had last year but it can really pay off to shop around and see if you can find something better," Plymell added.

Finally, ask for help.

It's free through Connect for Health Colorado and just like when filing your taxes, a paid professional is more likely to save you money.

"It's complex and experts that work with it every day see things that the individuals who don't work with it everyday won't see," Clarke added.

The deadline to sign up for health insurance is January 31.

If you've already signed up, it's too late this year. But if you waited until the last minute you can still save despite those rising costs.

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