Health insurance, while necessary, can be expensive, so it is important to reap the benefits of your plan throughout the year. Aside from receiving financial help for your doctor and hospital visits, what other advantages to your health insurance plan should you think about?
Low or no-cost preventative services
Many health insurance policies offer preventative services like annual physicals, wellness visits, mammograms, and colonoscopies, at low or no cost so you can be proactive about your health. Remember: Early detection is often the key to effectively combat illnesses.
Many plans offer a 24-hour nurse line that is staffed with medical professionals to answer basic medical questions or counsel members on treating illnesses. This could save you a late-night trip to an urgent care or, conversely, push you to go to urgent care when an issue is more serious than you may realize.
Membership discounts at local gyms or other fitness benefits
Some health insurance plans cover discounted gym memberships or have an included fitness benefit. It is more cost effective for health insurance companies to have healthy members who do not get sick and incur claims for the company, so these companies would rather spend their dollars on wellness benefits for members than medical bills.
Knowing the fundamentals of your plan
Insurance can be complicated, but the basics of how your plan works is important after going through plan documents like a Summary of Benefits, Evidence of Coverage, etc. Ask your agent to go through these plan details and explain the services in the policy. This can help reduce unexpected bills or claim issues.
Know how to find doctors/hospitals who accept your plan
Unfortunately, not all doctors and hospitals accept all health insurance plans, so it’s important to know which providers you’ll have access to when the need for medical treatment arises. Plans sometimes require members to obtain a referral from your primary care physician in order to see a specialist, so you’ll want to know this ahead of time
Pharmacy delivery services
Members may be able to use a plan’s mail order service to have certain medications delivered to their homes. In some cases, plans may charge less for medications obtained through mail order.
Be aware of enrollment and renewal periods
Your policy’s benefits may change from year to year, so it’s important to know when to switch plans. You can schedule an annual review with an agent determine if you should stick with your current plan or move on to a different one, especially if your medical needs have changed. Please keep in mind that, during these enrollment periods, agents have lots of clients to service, so the earlier you can contact your agent for a review, the more likely they will be able to schedule an appointment for you in their calendar with ample time to review and decide.