Five Ways to Be a Wise Health Care Consumer
February is National Wise Health Care Consumer Month. It’s no secret the health care and insurance industry can be complex. But, it’s important that every consumer feels confident they’re making choices that are best for their health and their wallet.
Review the tips below to learn how you can become an informed health care consumer.
1) Know the network.
If you have a primary care physician and specialists you like, be sure they’re in the network of any health plan you’re considering. Remember, a health maintenance organization (HMO) plan means that you must use doctors within the contracted network, while a point of service (POS) plan allows you the freedom to see any doctor in return for paying a higher monthly premium and out-of-pocket cost.
2) Look at your plan’s out-of-pocket maximum.
Most people know to look at the monthly premium, but don’t realize how important the out-of-pocket maximum is. This amount can change every year. And, just because your plan has a low premium, doesn’t guarantee you’re getting the best deal.
To understand what your total costs could be, look at this amount. This is the total you could pay in a year for your medical care, not including your prescriptions.
3) Review your prescriptions.
If you take medications regularly, check to make sure your prescriptions are covered by the insurance plan. You’ll find a list of covered medications in the plan’s formulary. It may also save you money to find a suitable generic substitute instead of taking a name brand drug.
4) Look at medical bills closely.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If something doesn’t look right, call your provider. Network Health customer service associates can also call a provider on your behalf. It’s important that all insurance and deductions are applied correctly before making your payment.
5) Consider the type of customer support you’ll get.
Most companies claim to have great customer service, but here are some things to think about.
- When I call, do I get a real person?
- Do I have access to a caring and local customer service team?
- If I’m ill, are there nurses and social workers available to help me and my family?
Network Health members can answer yes to all of the above. We take a different approach to customer service. We are a Wisconsin-based health plan, and we believe in partnering with our members to make sure they understand their health care needs and benefits.
To learn more about how Network Health is different, visit our website.