Health coverage is something we all have to live with. It can help you manage any healthcare cost for you and your loved ones and gives you peace of mind that you will be looked after should a medical issue arise. In order to truly get the most out of your health insurance plan, you need to be maximizing the benefits your health insurance provides. What’s more, if you’re not reaping all the rewards you can, you could actually be paying out much more than you need to for your healthcare.
Read on to find out how to get the most out of your healthcare coverage.
#1: Understanding your Healthcare Plan is Essential
Before you buy your health insurance online, you need to make sure you understand the difference between terms such as deductibles, copays, and co-insurance. This gives you an important foundation to start from and can help you understand which policy is right for you.
Once you buy health insurance coverage, you will be sent your policy and benefit documents, either electronically or in the mail. Make sure you read the section about your benefits in detail. You need to make sure you are clear about what you will need to pay out for different medical services, and any rules pertaining to in-network primary care, for instance. Making sure you stick to these rules can prevent you from having to pay out access costs or having to cover unexpected healthcare costs.
#2: Select the Right Plan for Your Family’s Needs
Don’t immediately think that sticking with the same health insurance company each year is the best option. Make sure you review any medical and dental requirements your family has at present. For instance, if someone was just diagnosed with a chronic illness or you’re aware of any forthcoming orthodontic work, then you will need to factor this into any choices you make when you compare health insurance providers.
#3: Consider an HD Plan
If you have a healthy family and you do not visit the doctor very often, an HD health plan, otherwise known as a High-Deductible health plan could save you hundreds of dollars each month on your healthcare insurance premiums. Another benefit of an HD plan will also enable you to start an HSA (Health Savings Account). On a pre-tax basis, you can save money to cover any out of pocket health expenses. What’s more, any HSA money that remains unused will continue to build-up, year after year.
However, if your family have any costly medical conditions, or you are not self-disciplined enough to save money, then an HD plan might not present the best type of health coverage for you.
#4: Stay Within Your Insurance Network
If you can, sticking with your in-network providers, in most cases, will guarantee you get the lowest charges possible for hospitals and doctors. While there are some types of healthcare insurance policies that give you access to both, you may find that you will pay more money to see medical professionals that are outside of your insurance network.
#5: Consider Mail Order Prescriptions
If you use long-term medication, you can make it easier for yourself and reduce the costs you pay if you order your pills using a subscription service with your insurer. By using mail order and 90-day supplies, you will be able to reduce the dispensing fees.
#6: Splitting Costs
If you are in need of extensive dental services, then it might be worth discussing splitting the cost and course of your treatment over two years. For instance, starting treatment in late November and finishing it in early January. It might not be relevant in all cases, and it depends on your dental plan benefits.
#7: Consider Working with an Advocate for Complex or Expensive Medical Issues
If you receive a significant invoice for a medical issue that meant you needed to visit the ER or have surgery, you may not understand the intricacies of the bill. Consider enlisting the services of a medical billing advocate to help you.
Usually, if everything on your bill is as it should be, a medical billing advocate will not charge you for their time or services. However, if they do uncover any questionable or false charges, they will earn their fee by charging you a percent of the money they save you. In some cases, your savings could amount to many thousands of dollars, particularly when there is a large multi-layer medical bill or where ongoing or extensive care is needed.
#8: Sign-Up to your Local Farm Bureau
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually need to be a farmer to be eligible to join a state farm bureau. Annual membership to this community can be as low as $50, and it provides you with a wealth of benefits. In some states, this could give you access to discounted group health insurance, which for some self-employed people, can work out to be quite cost-effective.
#9: If You Max-Out Your Deductible – Make the Most of Your Benefits
If you have met your health insurance deductible, then once this is paid, you will find that with most insurance plans, you will then be able to access healthcare services at a lower cost. So, if you can, you might also consider getting your optical needs tended to, your skin screen, and any other services that you may need at the lower cost.
#10: Make Sure you Use Any Programs, Benefits, and Discounts
Some health insurance companies will offer health and wellness programs that may include access to or discounts on classes or programs that help with specific medical conditions. They may also offer apps that help to track your health records or medication, or other such perks. Check the website of your health insurance company to make sure you are aware of, and taking advantage of their member benefits.
There are lots of ways to can maximize the benefits you get from your health insurance coverage. However, you need to make sure you read your policy documentation carefully and that you fully understand the details, costs, and benefits that you are entitled to. If you want to learn more about the different types of health insurance you can get, then take a look at our complete guide to health insurance.