Compare traditional with high-deductible plan options • More employers are offering a high-deductible plan, which generally offers a lower premium. But be prepared to pay the amount of the deductible in the coming year if you have serious health care issues.
Use incentives to reduce costs • "Employees should think about how they can be better consumers with the services a carrier offers," said Heather Leck, president of Corporate Benefit Advisors in Delray Beach, Fla. Some plans offer a hot line to a nurse or doctor, price checks on tests ordered by a doctor, or where to find the best deal on a prescription.
Set pre-tax dollars aside • Use a flexible spending account either from your employer or a third party, such as a bank, to deposit money to cover health costs not covered by insurance. Find the list of IRS-approved expenses on your health insurer's website.
Mix and match coverage • Your spouse or domestic partner may have less expensive coverage. Or it may be less expensive for certain family members to be insured on an individually purchased health plan. Note that employer-based plans are more likely to cover pregnancy, according to eHealthInsurance.
Review coverage options for adult children • Since 2010, the health care law has allowed adult children to retain coverage under a parent's health insurance policy until age 26. But make sure adult children who live in another state have access to your in-network health care providers.