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Make the Most of Your Health Insurance Policy

Posted by | Posted in Health insurance tips | Posted on 01-01-1970

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Most Americans pay a hefty premium for their health insurance coverage each month. In 2011, the average monthly premium paid per family was $414. Individual coverage had an average monthly cost of $183. Statistics show that insurance costs are rising. Since health insurance is likely a large portion of your monthly budget, it is important to utilize your policy to its full extent.

Understand Your Deductible

Many health insurance plans include a deductible. Your deductible is the total sum that is your responsibility to pay before your insurance company begins to cover costs. The deductible is reset every year, so it is wise to schedule your procedures to minimize your out of pocket costs. For example, let’s say your family has a deductible of $2,000. In January, your daughter breaks her leg, and your $2,000 deductible is met in that first month. Since your deductible has already been completed, it is wise to go ahead and schedule any elective procedures or medical tests in that same calendar year.

Check Your Prescription Drug Coverage

When you pick up your next prescription from the pharmacy, it is easy to be shocked by the price of the drugs. Your insurance company likely has a list of preferred drugs, and these drugs are available at a lower co-pay. You can save even more money by switching to generic drugs. At your next appointment, ask your doctor if a generic equivalent of your medication is available, and if that generic drug would meet your needs. Generics are normally available at less than 50 percent of the cost of brand-name drugs.

Take Advantage of Plan Perks

You probably receive a big chunk of paperwork from your insurance company when you complete the enrollment process each year. However, most consumers do not take the time to read and understand everything that is offered by their plan. When you are considering any health-related expense, contact your insurance company and see if any options are available. For instance, many insurance plans now cover the cost of breast pumps for nursing moms. Some insurance companies even partially reimburse the cost of your gym membership. If massage therapy is prescribed by your doctor, your insurance might reimburse the cost of massage sessions or chiropractor visits.

Take a few minutes to read through your insurance documents, then contact the company if you have any questions. You are paying for your health insurance coverage, so make sure that you are utilizing all the benefits of your insurance plan.