Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Top 5 tips on being smart about your Health Benefits

Are you aware that most health insurance companies offer open enrollment from Oct-Dec every year? Why is this important?  This year of all years it is important to read what is being sent to your home or through your work about your benefits.  We get our health insurance information at our home address.  This year, again, our health cost will jump again starting in January.  The cost of living is increasing, our insurance is increasing (by 10%) yet our actual take home pay is decreasing! It is decreasing because of the taxes that are being taken out of it before we even get it in our hands.  Use this open enrollment time to reasses your benefits and make sure you are getting the best plan for your family. 


Our family health insurance is not through Aetna but they have launched a website to explain the up and coming health care changes for you to understand.  Their site is called BeSmartAboutYourHealth.com


The site easily explains the health care changes and gives you countless tips on how to get your plan to work for you. The article, Power of an Hour, gave me insight on writing this post.  My husband and his employer worked together to lower the cost of our insurance and find the best plan for our family.  We didn't have the Aetna site to help with our changes.  I hope you take advantage of it. 


Here are my Top 5 Tips: 


1) IF your plan offers various levels, considering going to a less expensive out-of-pocket plan.  I'm sure all health care cost is rising, like our, and you have to pay out-of-pocket for extras then consider the plan that will cut down on those extra expenses. Gather all your insurance benefits and cost and take 20 minutes to compare and choose.  Use a Health Expense Calculator to estimate your expenses next year.


2) Consider lowering your health insurance to the minimum and enroll in a Health Savings Account (Flexible Spending Account) .  This way you can start building up funds to cover your co-pays and other out-of-pocket cost.  Take 20 minutes and choose the right benefit package for your family.  Don't let others choose for you.


3) Start using the benefits that your health plan offers you.  Take 10 minutes and zoom through your benefits and make sure you are being a smart consumer of your health benefits.  If your company pays for two dental cleanings each year then get two dental cleanings.  You are paying for these in the cost of your insurance.  Take advantage of these benefits to prevent more costly services later. 


4) Take 5 minutes and check and see what type of mail-order services your plan offers.  You can save out-of-pocket money by using prescription and equipment mail order services.  The more money you keep in your pocket the more you have to save for other expenses.  


5) Check your benefits for health wellness options.  Some companies offer discounts on vitamins, health clubs, counseling sessions, smoking cessations, nutritious specialist visits, etc.  These healthy lifestyle changes will cost you less out of pocket if you have these benefits.


Don't ignore your health insurance plan.  Take 20 minutes to go over your plan and get the most out of it.  Don't let others make choices for you.  Be smart about your health plan.  Call your health insurance company and have them explain to you what you don't understand.  


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.

1 comment:

Life Ramblings said...

very informative post. thanks for the great tips. have a good day.

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