Written By Paisley Hansen / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
When you're making plans for the future or anticipating needs so you can create a budget, healthcare costs can be a big concern. Health insurance removes a lot of that burden, but only if you understand how to use it. Many people with insurance do not use it to its fullest potential and end up paying more than they need to.
Here are some tips for making sure you get the most out of your health insurance.
1. Get Educated
First, it's time to sit down and learn a little about healthcare terminology. There are guaranteed to be a few words that come up when you're trying to get a bill covered or understand a claim, so it's important for you to know what they mean and how to use them.
Deductible, for example, is one of the most common words you'll come across, and it refers to how much money you have to pay into your healthcare savings account before your health insurance starts covering costs. You should also identify and understand your network, healthcare premiums, copay, and coinsurance costs.
If your employer is providing your health insurance, you should have access to your benefits documents. These documents should tell you how much you will pay for various types of services, and how much freedom you have when choosing a healthcare provider.
Knowing the restrictions and permissions in your own plan will prevent you from running into issues with getting coverage and can really save you a lot of money in emergency situations such as how to get out of a timeshare.
2. Pick the Right Plan
Not all health insurance plans are made equally, and many of them will have pros and cons depending on your specific situation. For instance, a family with young children might need coverage for orthodontic or optometrist costs. An older person might need coverage for physical therapy.
Choosing a plan that is the right fit for your situation is important because you'll wind up with lots of costs that are uncovered otherwise. It's easy to just let your current plan roll over to the next year but take a moment to assess your needs and gauge whether you need new services.
3. Hire an Advocate
In situations where you've received a large medical bill, such as for surgery, it can be daunting to look at all the terms and know whether or not you've been charged correctly. If you've found yourself in this position and want a more empowered approach to paying your medical bills, you can look into hiring a medical billing advocate to help you read a specific bill.
They'll be able to tell you, and then the hospital, whether or not there have been incorrect charges and could save you a lot of money. They can also help point you in the right direction to get charges reduced if the cost is too great. Either way, having a professional as your advocate in this situation can be an enormous relief.
4. Take Advantage of the Deductible
Once you've met your deductible for the year, which means you've spent enough on healthcare bills for your insurance to kick into gear, it's important to take advantage of those reduced costs. This is the time to book those dentist or doctor appointments you've been putting off.
Things like eye doctor appointments or seeing a podiatrist might be something you consider "extra," but if it's care that you need, now is the time to do it for the lowest possible costs.
5. Find Benefits, Discounts, Rewards Programs
Many insurance companies will offer special benefit programs or discounts for anything from fitness classes to apps for tracking your condition. By checking your health insurance provider's website frequently, you might just find a program that could take a large chunk of financial weight off your shoulders.
A lot of services you consider to be out of your range might just be a possibility if you understand how to take full advantage of your health insurance.
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Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, and growing young. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym. She loves hearing from readers so feel free to contact her through Facebook.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.