Getting the Most from Your Health Insurance Plan
Most health insurance plans offer you resources, tools and even access to discount programs for health-related services and products. For example, some plans offer weight loss or smoking cessation programs. Here you’ll find some helpful tips for making any health insurance plan work for you.
Making the Most of Your Medical Benefits
It’s the primary reason you chose to get health insurance—the medical care benefits. If you want to get the most from these benefits, here are a few simple things you can do.
- Stay in the network. Most health plans have negotiated discounts with doctors, hospitals and other health care professionals in their network. That usually translates into lower out-of-pocket costs to you. Contact your insurance company to find a doctor nearby in your network.
- Use the ER for emergencies only. Real emergencies warrant a trip to the closest Emergency Room. However, you can usually save out of pocket expense by scheduling a visit to your doctor for colds, minor sprains and other less serious conditions or by visiting an urgent care center.
- Use generic drugs. Generic drugs are the most affordable drugs and offer you the lowest available copay. Generic drugs are pharmaceutically and therapeutically equivalent to brand-name drugs.
- Use freestanding medical service facilities. You can generally lower medical expenses by scheduling laboratory work, imaging and other outpatient services at freestanding medical service facilities instead of a full-service or general acute care hospital.
- Double-check your coverage. Make sure services or treatments are covered before you schedule your next visit.
- Stay Healthy. Do your best to eat right, exercise and get regular health screenings. Encourage all family members to live a healthy lifestyle too.
- Conduct an “annual check-up” of your health insurance plan. Make sure the insurance plan you have still meets your needs. This is especially important if you have experienced any significant life-changing events in the past year, including the birth of a child, removal of an adult child from your health care policy, marriage or divorce.
Use Your Member Retail Discounts if Available
Most health insurance plans offer valuable tools and conveniences to their members. To get the most out your plan, take full advantage of these member retail discounts.
- Get online. Many health insurers offer online account management where members can check the status of claims, view benefits information, find a doctor and much more.
- Take advantage of programs. If your plan has free health screenings or wellness programs, use them.
- Learn how to be healthy. Sign up for member newsletters or read online articles or health and fitness tips. Whether online or printed, you’ll find valuable information to help keep you and your family healthy.
- Access available discount programs. Look into discount programs that may be available for health-related services and products.
Take Advantage of Blue Access for MembersSM
If you’re already a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas member, you can access Blue Access for Members. It’s the best way to get the most from your plan. When you register for Blue Access for Members, you can:
- Manage your account online
- Check the status of claims and set-up alerts
- Order a new ID card and print a temporary card
- Begin a free program to help you lose weight or stop smoking
- Search and compare doctors, hospitals and dentists in your area
If you’re already a member, register for Blue Access for Members now.