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3 signs it's time to switch your health plan

Just because you have a health plan doesn’t mean it’s a good fit. Taking a hard look at your plan and how you use it could save you lots of money – and headaches.


By Barb Breher
July 27, 2017

     


I know the drill. With work calls to return, soccer practice and Thanksgiving dinner to plan, there’s little time for anything else. But taking a little extra time now to make sure your health plan is still a good fit for your family could save you money – and headaches – later.

Look for these three signs you might be on the wrong health plan:

1. You skip the doctor to avoid a big bill.

If you feel like you’re paying too much to see a doctor when you’re sick – or the amount you pay before your plan helps (your deductible) is too high – look at other plan options. One of the most common calls I get is from members who chose plans with low monthly costs. But when they go to the doctor or fill a prescription, they cringe when they see the bill.

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If this sounds like you, consider switching to a plan with:

  • Higher monthly costs (called premiums)
  • Lower costs for care – including what you pay when you visit the doctor or get other care (copays or coinsurance)

It could save you money and prevent surprises in the long run.

2. Your insurance doesn't cover your doctor.

You have a doctor you love and want to keep seeing. But you realize your insurance doesn’t cover her. Since some plans pay very little or not at all if you see other doctors, it’s worth a second thought that could save you a lot of cash. Unfortunately, I get calls from members who see doctors who aren’t covered and are shocked when they get the bill.

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If it’s important for you to keep your doctor, look for a plan that covers her.

3. You're paying for care that keeps you healthy.

Make sure your plan covers blood pressure screenings, flu shots and other things that keep you healthy at no cost to you. The health care law requires new plans to provide many of these health-boosting, or preventive services, for free to members. But if you’ve been on your plan for a few years (this is called a grandfathered plan), it might not have to follow these rules.

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Check with your insurance company to see what’s covered under your plan. If these services aren’t, think about getting a new plan.

Choosing a health plan for your family is an important decision. I encourage you to consult an adviser, plan representative or other trusted partner to help make the decision.

About Barb Breher

Barb Breher is a leader in the Member Services department at HealthPartners. She specializes in individual and family health plans. Barb loves helping members understand and use their coverage (it’s confusing!). When she’s not working, she loves relaxing and camping with her husband and two young daughters. Minnesota locals: she highly recommends Voyageurs National Park.

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