As we all know, healthcare continue to get more expensive while the need for it remains the same. No matter how healthy you are, at some point in your life you’ll need professional medical services, so having the right insurance for your needs and knowing how to get the most out of it are important. Here are some simple tips for making the most out of your healthcare while saving as much as possible.
Get a Plan that Fits You, Your Family, and Your Lifestyle
Not doing your homework before choosing an insurance plan is a grave mistake. Plans vary greatly in the size of deductibles, extent of coverage, and terms of benefits and you could be either paying too much for what you need or have a deductible you can’t afford.
- High-deductible accounts. If you are a healthy single person or couple without kids, and have no major health problems, you might consider one of the increasingly popular high-deductible plans. These plans have an annual deductible of around $1,000-$2,000 in exchange for much lower monthly insurance premiums.
- HSAs. To supplement these plans, many providers offer a Health Savings Account (HSA) option. This allows you to set aside pre-taxed money to be used for medical expenses without getting penalized for unused funds – they simply roll over into the next plan year.
- FSAs. Many insurance providers also offer flex-spending accounts, or FSAs, to which employers many also contribute. Unlike HSAs, flex spending accounts have to be used up each year or you lose the funds. Put just enough in FSAs for what you need, and find out what qualifies so you can make the most of the money.
Utilize All Your Benefits
Find out exactly what your insurance provider offers in the way of other perks and benefits, and make it a point to take advantage of them. Some insurance providers offer 24-hour call lines so you can contact nurses after hours if you have care questions or need to know if situations warrant emergency-room visits, as well as discounts on gym memberships and other health-related services.
Stay Within Your Network
In an emergency, it’s easy to forget to check whether an emergency room, clinic, or particular doctor is in your insurance coverage network. It might not seem important at the time, but it will later when your insurance rejects your claims. Find out ahead of time which providers you can go to in an emergency, and carry contact information in case you need to call your insurance provider to verify.
Know Your Insurance Inside-Out
Insurance policies can seem confusing and complicated, so it may seem easier just to pay your bills and not ask questions. If this is your attitude, you could end up paying more out of pocket than necessary due to errors either by the doctor’s office or your insurance company. Make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered in your policy, and examine the charges on your medical bills to ensure that they are legitimate. Don’t be afraid to ask if something seems wrong; the doctor’s office or your insurance company should be able to explain your charges or misunderstandings in your coverage.
By taking the time to do your homework before choosing an insurance plan, you’ll avoid wasting money on premiums and excessive out-of-pocket medical expenses, and by further exploring your insurance and taking full advantage of all your benefits, you’ll save in many more areas, all which will help make your healthcare more affordable.