How Can You Get The Most Out Of Your Health Insurance?
It's all about educating yourself on what your health plan offers.
For many of us, once we sign up for a health plan, we forget about it until we get sick or injured. But that's like buying and expensive sports car and only driving it in first gear. Or, it is like investing hundreds of dollars in a high-tech PDA and only using it as a night light.
Health Insurance Plans
To get more out of your insurance, just remember - you're signing up for a health plan, not a sickness plan. These days, many health insurance companies offer valuable options and incentives to keep you healthy. By taking advantage of these extras, you can maximize the value of the plan, get the most from the money you pay in premiums every month, and possibly lower your insurance and healthcare costs over the long term.
To illustrate some of the many ways you can get more out of your health plan, let's look at Gary. Gary has a wife and two young children. With a wife and two young children, Gary realized the importance of planning for his family's health insurance needs. The first thing he did was add a Flexible Spending Account, or FSA, offered through his employer.. The money he contributes to his FSA is deducted from his paycheck pre-tax, so he saves a few hundred dollars a year in taxes. And he can spend that money on physician's office co-pays, prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, eyeglasses and more.
Gary also decided he wanted to live a healthier life. Fortunately his plan included access to a health coach at no additional cost to him. He wanted to quit smoking so he signed up for a program. He also took advantage of the discount on health club membership his plan offers. His wife, Greta signed up for a physical activity program that included a 'smart' pedometer. Now, with every step she takes throughout her normal day, she earns points that she cashes in for gift cards at her favorite retailers. And Gary's new health club membership has him thinking about entering the world of competitive bodybuilding – someday.
Health Assessment Surveys
Now Gary and Greta are the king and queen of getting the most out of their health plan. They both took health assessment surveys that provided them with customized plans to maximize their health. Gary's company even offered a health fair, where he and Greta got free blood pressure and diabetes screenings. They can even download healthy recipes off their health insurance company's Web site.
Health Insurance Web Sites
Whenever they need a prescription, Greta checks the Web site to see if they can save money with a generic brand and if it's a medication she'll take on a regular basis, she can look into using mail order offered by many companies. If someone in the family needs a specialist, they're able to find several recommended by their doctor. And they take advantage of the Nurse Line from their insurance company when they don't know when deciding whether to go to the ER or to urgent care, information on prenatal care or even stuff on free immunizations for the kids.
However, it's just up to you to take advantage of everything your health plan offers. And these days, health plans are offering you more than ever before.
So, take a cue from Gary and Greta and stay educated. Read all your insurance company's materials and visit its Web site to discover all the benefits you're entitled to. And remember, it's a health plan: Its main function is to keep you healthy and avoid catastrophic financial risk.