Welcome to the New Year!
This is the time we put our past behind us and look ahead toward the future. Some people set financial goals, while others focus on fitness goals, but I want you to think about health insurance in the New Year. Thinking about your health insurance insures your well-being and can save you money, so my advice for the new year is to take a fresh look at your plan and follow these five actions to get the most out of your health insurance this year.
Know what your health insurance policy covers. Whether you selected a new plan for this year or continue with the same plan, know what you policy covers. In a prior blog, I shared the Essential Health Benefits. This is a good starting point to reviewing your policy. You can review the plan’s website or the Evidence of Coverage booklet to find out what is covered in your plan.
Have proof of insurance at all times. This is one of those documents you should carry with you. You will definitely need it when you visit a medical office, but you never know when there will be an emergency. The health insurance card contains your policy number and contact information, and in some cases, discloses co-payment information.
Choose in-network doctors. In-network doctors have agreed to offer services at a predetermined price. Using in-network doctors when possible will save you money. Always ask if the provider is in-network before you receive any services.
Use preventative services. These are considered Essential Health Benefits and are often free. Get your annual check-up and other prevention services such as a flu shot. Maintaining your health always costs less than delaying health care. For a full list of preventative services visit healthcare.gov.
Track and organize your health care expenses. Keeping good records is important. It allows you to monitor and track your health over time, ensures your medical bills are accurate, provides proof of services you received, prevents medical ID theft, and assists in planning for next year. Key documents include explanation of benefits forms, receipts, test results, and discharge paperwork. Create a system that works for you and makes documentation easy to find.
Follow these five steps, and start the year off on the right foot. More information about health insurance can be found at our Insuring Your Health website.