5 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Health Insurance

Posted on: 15 June 2015

Medical care can be expensive, even with health insurance. There are things you can do to reduce the amount you pay on your medical care. Here are five strategies that can help you save more money, even with health insurance.

1. Stay In Network

In-network doctors are contracted to charge a lower amount for their services. Using them can help you save money, since the insurance companies usually offer a lower copayment and will cover a higher percentage of the cost when you use in-network providers. It pays to make sure all of your providers are in-network. For example, you may go to an in-network hospital and use an in-network surgeon, but many people forget to check if the anesthesiologist is in the network. You may end up paying more than you planned if this happens to you.

2. Take Advantage of Your Free Annual Exams

The new insurance laws under the Affordable Care Act cover an annual exam at no cost for the visit. This can help you save money by allowing you to catch medical issues before they become serious. It is important to have these exams as you grow older.

3. Get Pre-Approval

Many of the more expensive tests and procedures will require pre-approval from your health insurance company. Unless you want to be stuck paying the entire bill for the latest MRI, you need to get pre-approval before you have the procedure done. Although your doctor's office will be the one to submit the paperwork, it is a good idea the day before the procedure to call your insurance company yourself and make sure that procedure is approved.

4. Review Your Bills

Hospitals and billing offices can make mistakes and charge you the wrong amount or for the wrong procedure. CNN recommends carefully checking your itemized bills that the hospital sends you. You should also check the statements that your health insurance company sends you to see how much you saved and to make sure they are covering everything that they should under the plan.

5. Shop for Providers

You can save money by shopping for your health care providers. While you may end up paying the same copayment for doctor's visits or urgent care clinics, they are still ways you can save. For example, many insurance policies will cover X-rays as part of an urgent care visit, but some urgent cares may charge an extra fee if they are associated with a hospital. They will have a radiologist review the X-ray or they may have an additional facilities fee. You can save money by finding an urgent care that does not have the extra fees for the services that is already covered by the insurance. You can call an insurance company like Bailey Insurance Services to help you determine the most affordable options.