How to Get the Most Out of Your Health Insurance Plan

Health insurance can be expensive, but it is inexpensive when compared to the out-of-pocket costs you would be paying for medical services without it.

Yet there are also ways that you can maximize your health insurance plan in order to get the most out of it at the lowest price. The first step in making the most of your health insurance plan is to thoroughly review and select the plan that will provide you with the level of coverage that you need. You should also review your policy details in order to determine what is covered, what is not, your deductible, premiums and more.

By familiarizing yourself with your insurance plan, you can take advantage of insurance discounts, take care of additional checkups after a deductible is met and plan for out of pocket expenses. It is also worth learning about the preventive care that is available to you through your insurance at no charge.

Choose the Insurance Plan That Suits You and Your Family Best

The first step in obtaining the right health insurance plan is to review each plan available to you and select the one that is best for you and your family. Generally, different health insurance plans will provide coverage for certain doctors and hospitals. This coverage is often referred to as “in network”. If there is a doctor or location that you favor, ensure that it is included within the policy that you are considering. Will you need vision or dental coverage? Determining whether or not you need these additional forms of coverage up front can save you from big expenses later.

Review Your Health Insurance Policy and Benefits

If you already have an insurance policy, you can save money by reviewing your policy and learning more about your coverage options. In addition to your coverage options, learn about your copayments, deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket expenses.

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While some insurance providers do offer some coverage for out-of-network expenses, not all of them do, so be sure to check with your provider if you need to visit a physician or medical location that is not in your insurer’s network. Stick to in-network locations and physicians as much as possible in order to save money on your medical expenses.

Take Advantage of Health Insurance Discounts

Most health insurance companies will offer discounts for the completion of health and wellness programs. These discounts can quickly add up and reduce the overall monthly premium. Most insurance companies will provide discounts to beneficiaries who complete an annual wellness checkup, which includes some preventive screening services as well as an overall wellness exam. Nonsmokers may also be eligible for lower premiums as opposed to individuals who smoke.

In addition to the discounts that you can obtain on your insurance premium, it is a good idea to check your insurer’s website from time to time to look for new benefits. Some health insurance agencies will offer fitness programs, apps, prescription discounts and much more. These benefits may not reduce the amount that you pay for your insurance premium each month, but they do help you to get the most out of your insurance plan.

Take Advantage of Free Preventative Health Care Benefits

Due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance providers are legally required to provide free coverage for certain preventive care services that are recommended based on your age, gender and location. That means you can get these services at no cost to you, even if you have not yet met your annual deductible.

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Preventive health care is invaluable as it can help prevent illness or catch early signs of serious diseases including cancer and heart disease. These medical conditions are often far more treatable when they are caught early, making it imperative that you commit to preventive health care each year. Preventive health care options include the following:

  • Immunizations.
  • Alcohol misuse screening and counseling.
  • Depression screening.
  • Cancer screenings.
  • Type 2 diabetes screening.
  • Diet counseling.
  • HIV and Hepatitis screening.

Taking advantage of these free and necessary medical services can help you to get the most out of your health insurance plan.

Compare Local Pharmacy Offers for Prescription Benefits

Most health insurance plans offer you the freedom of selecting your own pharmacy, but not all pharmacies offer prescription drugs at the same price. The price that you may find at one pharmacy may not be the same as another, even after your insurance coverage is applied.

In addition to these various prices, some pharmacies offer additional discounts for filling your prescription with that particular pharmacy. These discounts can reduce the amount that you will be expected to pay for your prescription drugs. Therefore, you are strongly encouraged to review the local pharmacies within your area in order to make an informed decision when fulfilling prescriptions.

Make the Most of Your Health Insurance after Maxing a Deductible

Each year, you must meet your health insurance plan’s deductible before your health insurance will begin to cover your medical expenses. This deductible varies widely from one plan to the next, so it is important that you review your health insurance policy in order to determine what your deductible is. Generally, plans with a lower deductible often have a higher monthly premium. Depending on how often you visit the doctor, it may be worth choosing a insurance plan with a higher monthly premium to achieve a lower deductible.

Once a deductible has been paid, your insurance will pay its portion of all of your medical expenses. You will still be required to pay your copayment, up to your maximum out of pocket expenses, but taking advantage of this can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Once your deductible has been met for the year, consider scheduling any additional appointments that you need as well as any additional medical services that you might want after your deductible has already been met.

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