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Maximizing Your Health Insurance: A Practical Guide to Getting the Most Out of Your Coverage

So you have health insurance- now what? Print out your ID card, learn how to navigate
your insurance’s website and benefits, know your network, and schedule those visits
ASAP. Doing these few things will ensure you get the most out of your health insurance.
We’ll jump into more detail below on what was just mentioned. 
With the end of open enrollment this week, it is a good time to review the whole reason
why we go through this process all together. Early estimates on the Affordable Care Act
enrollees show that over a quarter of enrollees are new to health insurance coverage.
You pay your insurance premiums for a reason so utilize the benefits that are provided.
If you are like many of my clients, you have put quite a lot of time and effort into your
health insurance plan choice. Let’s put that work into action.

  1. Print and save your ID card right now
    First off- make sure that you have your cards.  There is often a mail delay at the
    beginning of the year so be sure that you have access to them.  Save a copy with your
    other important documentation and possibly share it with trusted loved ones for
    emergencies.  Many clients use a tracker for monitoring savings and retirement
    accounts that also have the ability to save important documents like insurance cards,
    passwords, life insurance and bank account numbers and a will. Also, have a copy in
    your wallet or purse.  This is very important.  You can not use your insurance without
    your card. At the very least, your agent should be able to provide your cards to you by
    email or order an extra set for you.
  2. Get to know your plan
    Health insurance coverage varies widely. Some plans are private while others are
    offered as an employee of a company. They can require medical underwriting while
    others are guarantee issue that do not require the applicant to answer any questions on
    their medical history to have the policy approved. Some of you may be a dependent on
    a spouse or parent’s policy. So, take some time to learn about the inner workings of
    your plan by logging in online, calling the company when you have questions, or
    talking to an agent like myself. Many carriers offer discounts and membership perks
    like gym memberships and products that contribute to healthy living and lower costs so
    take advantage of them.
  3. Telemedicine
    As a mom, I can not emphasize enough how great the use of telemedicine can be.
    These services often have technical aspects of that care that are necessary before the
    initial visit. So download whatever app needs to be used to access that care and
    familiarize yourself with the log in procedure. And listen, it may not always be your child
    who needs the care. I have used telemedicine for sinus infections several times. I am a
    very unhappy sick person. I get irritable and impatient so trying to then figure out how
    to access the telemedicine care becomes that much more difficult if I am not 100%. Do
    it when you are feeling well and have the patience to learn this new skill. I know- it
    sounds silly but I have been there. Make it easy on yourself.
  4. Learn about your plan’s network
    Most insurance plans have a network of doctors and facilities that clients should use for
    their care.  If you do not have established care with a doctor, this is a great place to start
    looking for a routine doctor.  Many clients use urgent care more and more for their
    needs so being familiar with those facilities in your geographic area can save lots of
    time and energy when you are possibly not feeling your best.  This information can
    generally be obtained by visiting your carrier’s website or ask your agent for assistance.
    Planning a trip soon? Check if your policy covers you for out of state and country care.
    If traveling overseas, I recommend considering an international health plan just in case
    you do need care while outside the United States.
    Please click here to see options.
  5. Schedule wellness visits and those visits that you have been
    postponing while you waited for the coverage to take effect
    Affordable Care Act policies cover wellness visits automatically like gynecology exams,
    mammograms and physicals.  Take advantage of these benefits and schedule that
    appointment.  These visits can be the key to better health long term.  If you have dental
    and vision coverage, many of those plans offer discounted preventative exams so this is
    a great time to schedule that cleaning or evaluation.  Even I delay or procrastinate on
    making appointments. When is the last time you had a dermatology visit?  How about
    your last dental cleaning?  It is easy to brush it aside but go ahead and schedule that
    appointment now. 
    You pay your insurance premiums for a reason so utilize the benefits that are provided. 
    It will help to keep you healthy.  It has been said that health is wealth.  I believe that. 
    Put all that research into your health plan to good use today.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Christine

    Great tips! I so agree that telemedicine is a great resource and I love scheduling my wellness visits at the beginning of the year. It’s so hard to get into some providers that staying ahead of the game is a great tip. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Amy Galliano

      Agreed. Scheduling visits at the start of the year is a great habit. That way it gets done instead of waiting until the end when it tends to be so much more complicated. Thank you for the response. So helpful.

  2. Danielle

    Thank you for the great tips. Making my appointments at the beginning of the year keeps me from procrastinating. Although I wasn’t a fan of telemedicine early on, I came up love the time it saved me.

    1. Amy Galliano

      No doubt- telemedicine takes a while to get used to for sure. Glad that you found this information helpful. Thank you for commenting.

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