Getting the Most from Your Health Insurance

Most health insurance plans offer you resources, tools and even access to discount programs for health-related services and products. For example, some plans offer weight loss or smoking cessation programs. Here you’ll find some helpful tips for making your health insurance plan work for you.

  • Stay in your network of providers. Most health plans have negotiated discounts with doctors, hospitals and other health care professionals within their network. That usually translates into lower out-of-pocket costs to you. Contact your insurance company to find a doctor nearby in your network.
  • Use the Emergency Room (ER) for emergencies only. Real emergencies warrant a trip to the closest ER. However, you can usually save by scheduling a visit to your doctor for colds, minor sprains and other less serious conditions or by visiting an urgent care center.
  • Use generic drugs. Generic drugs are the most affordable drugs and offer you the lowest available copay. Generic drugs are pharmaceutically and therapeutically equivalent to brand-name drugs and cost less.
  • Use freestanding medical service facilities. You can generally lower medical expenses by scheduling laboratory work, imaging and other outpatient services at freestanding medical service facilities instead of a full-service or general acute care hospital.
  • Double-check your coverage. Make sure services or treatments are covered before you schedule your next visit.
  • Stay healthy. Do your best to eat right, exercise and get regular health screenings. Encourage all family members to live a healthy lifestyle too.
  • Conduct an “annual check-up” of your health insurance plan. Make sure the insurance plan you have still meets your needs. This is especially important if you have experienced any significant life-changing events in the past year, including the birth of a child, removal of an adult child from your health care policy, marriage or divorce.