Health insurance is one of those services that many people really don’t use until they’re actually in danger of dying, yet they pay an arm and a leg monthly to have it just in case.
But health insurance is actually there for more than just emergencies. You can use it to your advantage to live a healthier life and help prevent major illnesses and conditions from happening in the first place.
Utilizing certain health insurance benefits, such as preventative screenings and exams, is like taking your car to get routine maintenance, like an oil change. Except with certain benefits you don’t even have to pay extra.
Although it will depend on your type of insurance, there are some basic benefits for medical, vision or dental insurance that you can take advantage of in order to maximize your monthly premium.
The tips in this article apply to medical insurance. However, it's a good idea to do some research on your vision and dental insurance in order to find out how many exams and teeth cleanings you are entitled to for free per year.
For vision insurance, you may also be able to get discounts on sunglasses if you don’t wear glasses. Vision insurance/discount plans are more for people who have vision problems. Otherwise most medical insurance plans cover at least one eye exam per year.
Nora Zuniga, the owner and a health insurance broker at Healthful Insurance Agency, has a few tips for getting the most out of your health insurance:
1) Use preventative care services. These do not require a co-pay or deductible to be met, and are covered 100 percent. These services are used to monitor your health.
2) It is cheaper to go to a doctor that’s in-network. You can find out from your health insurance company which specialists and doctors are in-network (usually they have a search tool on their website as well).
3) Keep track of your current benefits and make sure you’re using what you’re paying for. Talk to human resources or a health insurance broker if you think you need to downgrade or upgrade, depending on your needs.