Congratulations, you’re covered! What now? Well, it’s time to take advantage of all that your health plan has to offer. After all, you are paying for it and there may be hidden perks. Keep reading to find out how to save money, improve your health, and maximize your coverage.
Utilize Preventive Services
These days, health insurance plans offer preventive health services at no extra cost. Smoking cessation, vaccinations, and weight management may all be included in your plan. You can take advantage of these services to prevent future illnesses.
Schedule Your Annual Checkup and Ask Questions
If you haven’t done so already, you should select a general practitioner (your “everything” doctor) who you can visit at least once a year for a routine physical. These annual checkups are aimed at ensuring that your health is in good shape and catching any signs of trouble early.
Before your visit, make a list of any questions, concerns, or any changes in your body that you might have noticed leading up to the appointment. From head to toe, no matter how small your question might seem, this is your chance to ask a medical professional about it. Want a mole looked at? Think you might have allergies in the springtime? Any itch, bump or spot can be looked at, and you should feel comfortable bringing it up with your doctor. It’s their job, so take advantage! If your doc can’t answer your questions, they can refer you to a doctor that will.
Reap the Benefits of Fitness and Wellness Discounts
It’s no secret exercise and a healthy diet is key to wellness. Insurance carriers have a vested interest in you staying well, so they’re willing to incentivize you to make health choices. Some insurance carriers offer discounts for things that can help improve your health, like gym memberships, fitness trackers or healthy meal packages. Find out from your insurer if discounts are available and take a proactive approach to your health.
Know Your Network
Whether you’re on a new insurance plan or the same one as last year, you’ll want to take a look at your coverage and understand the difference between “in-network” and “out-of-network.” It’s important to do this before receiving care or you could end up with a shockingly hefty medical bill.
If you receive care with doctors that are in-network then you’ll probably pay less money than for doctors that are out-of-network. Insurance companies negotiate deals with doctors and providers to create a network of physicians, so you pay less for a care within the network of your insurance plan. Many insurance websites have a search feature so you can see which doctors are in-network. If not, call your insurance carrier to find out.
With all the hype around health insurance these days, the ironic part is that you hope you rarely have to use it. However, with recent health care reform and built-in benefits, it’s a smart idea to use these tips to maximize the health plan you pay for every month.