How to Get the Best Out of a Healthcare Insurance Plan?

Written by: Lori Gracing
06/17/2019

insurance-coverage

A reliable healthcare insurance plan can rid a person from unwanted treatment costs. Various families often do not get much of the benefits from their insurance programs, and even pay more than what they should pay actually. Below is how patients can get the best out of an insurance policy in simple steps:

Understand & Choose Wisely

At the time of signing up, patients should make sure that they understand all the essential aspects of a healthcare insurance program. For this, they can record all the benefits in black and white form so that they remember what they are paying for. Moreover, patients should understand that if they will need an in-network primary care physician or referrals for a specialist.

In addition, people often make mistake in choosing a suitable plan for an entire family. Rather than choosing the same insurance plan every year, people should look for different medical and dental needs of their family members. For instance, if a person in a family needs orthodontal treatment, or someone is diagnosed with a chronic illness, then they should choose a plan that covers them in best manner.

In-Network Providers

According to various insurance experts, physicians and doctors who are associated with particular insurance network offer the lowest charges. Patients should check if their chosen doctors are listed in an insurance program. Moreover, it is essential for patients to be confident that doctors are associated with medical institutions that their insurance program covers.

The moment a patient meets their deductible in a plan, they will pay considerably less out of pocket on any healthcare center they choose. Having said, if a patient has already met their deductible for that year, then it is time they should schedule an appointment for checkup and services that they want at reduced cost.

Choosing an Advocate

In case a patient has received a costly bill for medical services after an ER visit or surgery and cannot understand it, then hiring a healthcare-billing advocate can come into handy to them. Fortunately, they may not even charge them if everything is in order. However, in case of mistakes or a questionable charge, a medical billing advocate may charge about one third to half of the amount that they will save.

The cost savings can bundle up to thousands of dollars. This is common in cases of complex medical conditions that require expensive treatment. Many insurance companies have started offering their personal advocates too who offer a unique point of contact with a professional who offer upright assistance in understanding coverage terms.

Via Mail Prescriptions

If a patient requires medications for long-term, then they can get rid of visiting doctor and subscribe to via mail prescription services through their insurer. Consuming 90-day supplies and mail order will reduce the dispensing fees significantly.

In addition, patients can achieve the best out of discounts, programs, and additional benefits offered by insurance providers. Insurance providers often offer wellness programs, discounts on fitness classes, and specific programs for helping people with specific medical conditions. Moreover, apps can come into handy to track medications and health records. A patient needs to visit their insurance provider’s website on regular basis for checking latest offerings and benefits.

Put Health First

In case a patient suffers from one or more medical illnesses that need ongoing care such as heart disease or diabetes, then they should opt for a plan that offers a lower deductible and copayments. Same case applies to people who expect a baby in the upcoming year. They will have to pay higher premium, but overall out-of-pocket cost will be significantly less.

Perform Mathematics

People often consider monthly premium only, without paying heed to the deductible. For instance, if a patient has a choice between a lower silver plan premium that costs are $345/month for a program with a $5,500 deductible, and an elite gold program premium at $465/month with a $1,750 deductible, then it will be better to go with the second plan. By choosing the second plan, the total annual cost for premium and deductible will come to $7,330; a significant $2,310 saving over the lower premium program.

Go Through the Benefits & Drug List

Almost every individual and business plans need to cover emergency, hospitalization, lab testing, newborn care, maternity, mental health, abuse treatment, outpatient care, prescription drugs, preventive services, and rehabilitation services. However, the aspects of an employer’s available plans may be slightly different. Thus, a patient needs to be sure to go through a program’s evidence of coverage.

Every plan features a formulary, a list of medications that they cover along with copayment for each. In case, a patient needs prescription medicine, they can check the list to discover if that drug is present and refill costs. However, if a medicine is not listed on the formulary list, then they may need to pay for it. In addition, patients can check if their plan offers cost-saving mail prescriptions.

Choose the Right Questions

Patients can call the member services department of the health plan that they choose or make conversation with anyone in human resource department. They can ask questions such as which clinics, doctors, hospitals, or pharmacies have participated in the program. Moreover, they should think about how much it would cost to go out of network.

Is there coverage for a travel emergency? What are the premium and out-of-pocket costs? How much will be the amount a patient will pay out of their pocket for covering expenses? What will be covered and excluded in the plan? How disputes about a bill or service will be handled?


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