How to Get the Most Out of Your Health Insurance Benefits

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make the most of your health insurance

We know, we know—health insurance can be expensive. Premiums are rising and increasingly, procedures that were once covered aren’t being fully covered by your insurance. But we also know that many people aren’t taking full advantage of all the “perks” their healthcare plan offers. From free health assessments to discounts on health and wellness services and products, your health insurance plan may just offer more than you think. Check out these nine life hacks for getting the most out of your health insurance.
Take Advantage of Pre-Deductible Services
Even if you haven’t reached your deductible, pretty much all healthcare plans require the insurance company to pay for preventative health services in full. These services include screenings, immunizations, physicals, mammograms and more.
Use Price Look Up/ Price Estimators
Compare healthcare costs using price estimators from your insurance company. Many insurance companies will “bargain” with providers to get the best price. Take full advantage of comparing the price estimates from your insurance company and talk to your representative if you think a lower price on a healthcare product or service could be reached.
Get Established
Avoid those expensive urgent care visits when you’re sick by establishing with a primary care physician. Simply call a provider in your network and schedule an “establish” visit. Then whenever you feel the slightest cough, you won’t need to shell out a wad of cash for a 30-minute visit.
Avoid Out-of-Network Visits
Some PPO plans allow for patients to visit out-of-network providers, but what won’t tell you is that you’ll have to foot a larger share of the bill. So instead of getting stuck with an unanticipated bill, understand how your out-of-network coverage works. Attempt to always stay in network, if possible. If you must go out of network for care, do a healthcare price comparison ahead of time and settle on a price with your insurance company before your visit.
Go Over the Counter
Lifestyle drugs, including those for joint pain, heartburn, headaches, allergies and insomnia, can sometimes be purchased for a much cheaper price in an over-the-counter version. You can ask for free advice from your pharmacist on avoiding high-cost prescriptions by opting for an over-the-counter replacement.
Get Rewarded for Healthy Habits
Some insurance companies reward healthy behavior! You may get money for exercising, meeting health goals or practicing a healthy diet. Ask your representative if your insurance company participates in healthy habits rewards. Many plans will also offer classes to help you quit smoking or drinking alcohol as well as courses to learn proper diet and nutrition.
Keep Detailed Records
Monitor all insurance bills and healthcare records to ensure your medical costs are accurate. Your statements—also called an explanation of benefits (EOB)—should include all the treatments you received as well as any copayments of coinsurance you paid. If something looks amiss, don’t be afraid to challenge your insurance company on it, especially anything that you know should be covered by your plan.
Take All the Free Stuff
Don’t be afraid of being one of those people who gravitates toward anything with the word FREE stamped on it, especially when it comes to your health plan. If your plan offers a free flu shot—take it! If your vision plan gives you a free pair of glasses, get on over to the eye doctor! And be sure to consider any free programs, classes or rewards your insurance plan offers. We’re all about the freebies when it comes to healthcare!
Stay Healthy
Simple lifestyle changes can pave the way to a healthier life and lower the cost of your healthcare. Being and staying healthy is the single most influential decision when it comes to saving money on health insurance costs. Kick bad habits, fill up on nutritious foods and look for everyday ways to de-stress. Your wallet and your body will thank you later!
Be in the know when it comes to squeezing all the benefits from your medical insurance plan. Now get out there and save on medical costs!