Getting The Most From Your Health Insurance
It’s no secret that health insurance can feel like an expensive luxury, and it can be confusing to many. One of the first things people come up against is that they can’t find coverage that they can afford, and millions of people don’t have any insurance.
While there are many changes that we can hope to see from the government when it comes to the health care and insurance system – in the meantime, you can take steps to make the most of whatever health insurance you do have.
While getting insurance might seem like a complicated process – what coverage do you need, and are there top-ups? What’s the premium and so on – many insurance plans come with perks that people often don’t cash in on.
Quite often, the type of perks are medical procedures that can improve your quality of life. Things like reduced LASIK, the ability to save money on prescriptions at preferred pharmacies that your insurance company has approved, or you might even see some reductions in other types of insurance.
Check what perks you have available and make sure that you use them.
If you have been covering the costs of chronic illness, disabilities, or treatment for the over 65 age bracket – it is a good idea to know how and when to apply for Medicare. Everyone’s circumstances are different, and it pays to get some guidance on what you can have and when.
If you aren’t sure how to make a claim or when you should, you might find you are paying for things you don’t need to. Sometimes a clinic or doctor won’t bill your insurance directly; instead, you will receive a bill and claim afterward. The insurance company should pay back all or part – but if you’re not asking for an itemized bill, you might be paying too much out-of-pocket.
You will likely get one with the cost, date, and diagnosis code – but if not, make sure you have those details.
Your insurance company can ensure that you have the proper forms at all times – so even if you think you have the right ones, don’t just assume – instead, go right to the source and reduce the chances that you aren’t handing in the right thing.
One of the great things about even the most basic of plans – including high-deductible plans, is that they have preventative care and screening within the package. What this means is that you shouldn’t be responsible for covering any of the costs of these procedures.
Immunizations, breast cancer screenings, blood pressure, cholesterol, and even diabetic screenings should all be covered.
Preventative care allows you to take complete control of your health, and it means that if there are any issues you need to be aware of, you can get treatment quickly.
Read your documents
You might be surprised to find out how much your coverage can change yearly. Things get added and removed from health insurance coverage all the time – and that can cause trouble when you get the treatment you thought was covered for – only to later find you will be on the hook for the total amount.
No matter what level of plan you have, you will have documentation that can help you understand what you can and cannot claim for and how much your premiums are. You are legally required to be given a summary of the benefits and the coverage that you have.
You are also free to call your insurance company to see what the changes are.
While we can never prepare for things like emergency treatment, in some cases, we can plan other procedures to work with our deductible reset. If you need an extensive procedure, then wait until you have met the deductible to book it – this is an excellent idea for people who don’t have a lot of spare cash.
Others who have the money upfront may choose to schedule a more expensive surgery to satisfy their deductible early in the year, knowing that the remainder of their healthcare expenditures would be covered by insurance for the rest of the year.
Millions of people stay with the same insurance company without checking on the possible perks, benefits, or even reading the policy. Instead, make this the year that you understand what you are paying for – and you make the most of it too.
While it is true that your health insurance is an expense, it is also a tool that you can use to support your preventative care and maximize your health.
What is preventive care, and how can it help: Preventative Health Care – Ask Dr. Ho.