These are some of the best ways to squeeze the most out of your health insurance plan. Let us know what your personal healthcare hacks are in the comments!
1. Know your possible total yearly spending
Take your monthly premium, multiply by 12 and add your annual maximum out of pocket (MOOP).
Ex: Monthly Premium: $200; MOOP: $6,600
($200 x 12) + $6,600 = $9,000
You should calculate this number before you even sign up for your health plan. This is the amount you will be responsible for if you happen to need a lot of medical care during your plan year. If you are a low utilizer this may not be the most important number. A low utilizer will want to keep monthly premiums as low as possible, but a high utilizer (someone who is pregnant or managing health conditions) should know this critical number and it’s not hard to calculate.
2. Find out an exact price for medical procedures
Rarely will your provider be able to tell you how much these procedures cost. In most cases you’ll need to get the CPT Code (the billing code) from the provider and the provider’s Tax ID number, then you can give these to your insurance carrier to get YOUR cost for specific services. In most cases the turnaround time is 48-72 hours. This should be easier but currently, it’s just not. As more patients ask for the price of care our providers will become more transparent and have this info more readily available, so ask about the price every time!
3. Find cheaper prescriptions (Including the cheapest generics!)
This is a great site to compare the cost of prescriptions and find yours at the lowest cost possible.
4. Use your nurseline!
Are you sick?
Are you ‘see a doctor’ sick or just ‘take some Sudafed’ sick?
Sometimes that can be hard to tell. You will save yourself some cash if you have access to and can use a nurseline or teledoc. Some pediatricians also offer this service for free. Be prepared to answer a bunch of questions, but it just may save you an actual trip to the doctor, and if you’re on a high deductible plan, one doctor’s visit will easily cost over $100! Ask your employer and your health insurance carrier (UHC, Cigna, etc.) if this is a service they offer. If they do, keep the phone number on your fridge!