Health insurance works on the concept that if you develop a chronic illness, need medical emergencies, or are generally not feeling well, you will not be financially crippled. Depending on your coverage, you might access primary health care or enjoy other additional benefits such as wellness programs.
Health insurance is a recurring expense that is payable monthly or as agreed. For this reason, we cannot overemphasize the need to take advantage of your health coverage.
This article focuses on six tips that will ensure you make the most of your insurance policy.
Let’s delve into specifics.
Understand Your Options
Considering the myriad options available, understanding your health insurance options can be complex. However, it is the first step to leveraging your policy’s benefits.
For instance, some employers offer subsidies if you are employed, where they take up responsibility for a certain percentage of your monthly premium. For this reason, get to know the plans that your employer offers and exploit them.
Are your children covered? Which medical needs can the policy cater to? These are some of the questions you should ask to understand your health insurance options better.
Despite private insurance plans allowing you to list your children and parents as dependents, you also need to consider government plans. If your parents are 65 years and above, Medicare is an excellent example of national health insurance coverage to supplement your private health policy.
Additionally, be on the lookout for plans specifically designed for children and low-income earners. In a bid to ensure quality healthcare for all, the American government offers plans at subsidized rates, which can be a breath of fresh air when in need of medical attention.
By understanding the health coverage options available, you can make an informed decision as to which plan is the best for you or your family.
Most often than not, health insurance policies will offer checkups for free or at a fraction of the regular cost. So, make a point to read through your contract and see the types and number of checkups your policy allows.
Free eye examinations, e-rays, and dental cleaning are some of the checkups that your insurer might offer. So, if your health plan will cater to two eye examinations, one medical and dental checkup, make sure you schedule them. You can write down these checkups at the beginning of every plan year, set reminders, and make a point of going. Otherwise, your hard-earned money will lie unused.
Know Your Benefits
Apart from the free or low-cost mammograms, dental checkups, and eye exams, many insurance companies offer other additional benefits that many may not be aware of.
Discounted rates on gym membership and other health and wellness programs are some of the incentives health insurance companies offer to promote a healthy lifestyle among their clients. To get value for your money, improve your health, and enjoy quality of life, it is essential to fully take advantage of these benefits.
Call your insurer now or research online to find out what health insurance benefits await you. Also, be keen on upcoming benefits from your insurer.
Use the Policies In-Network Providers
Every policy is different in that it has its own unique network. In-network providers are hospitals, doctors, and other medical providers that a health insurance company contracts to provide medical care to its customers.
To leverage the full benefits of your cover, working with in-network providers is imperative as visiting out-of-network providers will attract higher charges.
So, before taking out a health policy, you must confirm that your preferred insurance company works with your preferred medical service providers. If they don’t, you can either seek another insurer or switch to their in-network providers.
Suppose you already have a policy; it is best to find out if your dentist, chiropractor, pediatrician, or any other medical practitioner you visit is an in-network or out-of-network provider. Then, if need be, make the necessary changes.
Make the Most Of Your Cover After Meeting Your Deductible
A deductible is the amount of money you are supposed to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance policy can take effect. After you have maxed out your deductible, your insurer will cover a percentage of the extra expenses or pay for them in full.
If you have met your deductibles, it’s time to make the most of your health coverage. Go for preventive medical checkups, schedule an appointment with your dentist, and go for screenings. Basically, seek the medical services you need for free or at a low price.
Take Advantage of Open Enrollment
A lot happens in a year. Maybe you got married or had a kid. On the other hand, you may have come across better health coverage that offers more attractive benefits.
All these situations call for amendments to your current healthcare policy, which is the primary reason you should always be keen on the open enrollment period.
Open enrollment is a period when you can sign-up for health coverage, request amendments to your current one or cancel it. It happens for a short duration – 30 days or so, and if the window closes, you might need to wait another year to take action.
Thus, if you have found a better cover that works with your preferred medical providers, this is the best time to cancel your current policy. On the other hand, if you want to increase your contributions, enjoy additional perks, and add a dependent, this is the best time to make the necessary changes.
There is an exception for certain situations, however.
If you just got married or had a kid, you can make amendments at whichever time of the year as long as it is within 30 days from the day the baby was born or you tied the knot. Failure to which, you will need to wait until the open enrollment period.
Health insurance covers differ. As such, it is time to go over your contract again to fully comprehend how you can make the most out of it.