Whether you’re covering the whole family or have an individual policy for yourself, health insurance is expensive. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average premium for family coverage has increased 22% over the last five years, 54% over the last ten years! With premiums increasing as much as they are, it is vital to ensure you are getting the most out of your policy.
Here are five practical ways to make certain you are getting the most out of your health insurance:
1. Make sure you understand your plan. Deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance are all considerations when choosing your plan. If you and your family are generally healthy, a higher deductible plan with a lower premium may be the right option. If you know you are going to have to take some extra trips to the doctor, consider a lower deductible plan so you won’t have to pay as much out of pocket.
2. Make sure your doctors are in-network. Know what doctors and pharmacies are in-network with your insurance carrier, this will save you money when your bill arrives!
3. Ask about discounts and programs your plan provides. Most plans have added benefits like gym discounts, workout classes and even educational apps for your cell phone. Ask your plan administrator or agent about what bonuses your plan includes.
4. Remember your preventative services. Even if you and your family have a healthy year, make sure to utilize your preventative health services. Catching a health issue early can save a lot of money in the long run.
5. Take advantage of the time after your deductible is reached. Once you hit your deductible on most plans, the insurer will begin to pay a much larger portion of healthcare bills – take advantage of this! This is a great time to schedule services like skin screenings or procedures you may have put off due to cost.