I have been thinking a lot about health insurance lately. Health insurance is a huge benefit of my employment yet I have really failed to take advantage of using it the way I should. Aetna has an article about making the most of your health benefits here and I want to share the most important tips I learned with you.
1. Make sure you know what benefits you need. Consider what is important to you. Is having full prescription coverage your priority? If so then make sure that is they coverage you have if you are able to choose. Think about what your family needs each year. It is a priority for me to have well baby check ups covered because I know that is something I have to take my son in for each year.
2. Try to predict what health needs you will have. I know that I am getting near the age to have a yearly mammogram. How I got that old I don't know...:). But seriously it is important to think ahead to future medical needs and I know this is one I will have in the future.
3. If you have a choice in healthcare, make the most informed choice. If saving money is your priority then of course go with the plan that saves the most money. To some people keeping the same doctors they have gone to for years is the most important thing and they may be willing to pay a bit more to keep the same service providers.
4. Investigate other options. I wish I had more of an option with choosing the insurance my company provides, but unfortunately the only decision we can make is do you want insurance or not. My employer does give a monetary stipend to employees who decline insurance. This leave the option of taking the stipend and using it for private insurance. I have not taken advantage of this option but it is worth considering if you can find a better plan than your company provides and it is within your financial means.
5. Keep track of your health costs. Honestly I am guilty of not following this advice as well as I should. It is best to turn in receipts and statements right away for reimbursement if that is part of your plan. Don't leave it until the last minute or you may risk not being reimbursed if you cannot find what you need. It is also a good idea to keep track of the costs to try to estimate your future health care needs.
Healthcare is tricky business if you ask me. I have spent hours trying to wrap my brain around the best healthcare plans for my family. However I do think that spending that time upfront will save time and money in the end. It may save even more than that if being prepared and organized means you end up with better healthcare in the end.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Aetna blogging program, making me eligible to get a $30 Target gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.