Get the most from your health plan’s medical benefits

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Oct 8,2012

If you want to get the most from your medical care benefits, here are a few simple things you can do:

1. Use your plan’s provider network.
Your health plan has negotiated discounts with doctors, hospitals and other health care professionals in its network. Using network providers translates into lower out-of-pocket costs to you. Call your plan’s customer service department if you need assistance to find a network doctor near you.

2. Follow your doctor’s orders.
Be sure to take any medication or treatments your doctor has recommended so you can get back to health quickly and avoid additional co-payments or costs.

3. Double check your coverage.
Make sure services or treatments are covered before you schedule your next visit. Knowing this ahead of time can reduce your stress level.

4. Use your member perks.
Many plans offer valuable tools and added services for members. To get the most out your plan, take full advantage of these “extras,” which may include nutrition counseling, tobacco cessation drugs, and health education and wellness classes.

5. Go online.
Most health plans offer online member resources and tools. It is a convenient way to view benefits information and find a network doctor. Some plans also provide a member portal that gives you access to information about your health insurance claims and deductible balances.

6. Take advantage of programs.
More and more, health plans are offering free services and care management programs to improve your health. For example, if you have diabetes, some plans will pay for your monitoring supplies and training. Be sure to ask.

7. Learn how to be healthier.
Typically, health plans provide education through newsletters full of helpful articles and health and fitness tips. There may also be educational information on your plan’s website available when you want to learn more about a topic. Whether online or printed, your plan provides valuable information to help you maintain and improve your health.