12.05.2017

Before the next Doctors visit ask if your really covered

Whether through a private supplier or on a Medicare plan, the issue of not having insurance when it comes to your health costs is becoming something of a non-issue for more and more people. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t occasionally find the nasty surprise of paying much more than you should because you weren’t covered. There are a few common mistakes people make with their healthcare payments and most of them come down to thinking they’re covered when, in fact, they weren’t. Make sure your providers got your back by avoiding the three mistakes detailed below.

Proper pill procedure
What kind of medicine are you being prescribed? Are you sure it’s the right one? Your doctors often have more than one option when it comes to prescriptions and there are several small factors that might be the crux of which they give to you. There’s only one factor you should be worried about, however: is it covered by your insurance? All coverage includes a formulary, the list of drugs covered by the agreement. Your doctor can ask for exceptions in order to get the drug covered by your plan, but it’s not guaranteed. It’s worth asking about lower-cost alternatives, even generics, if you find yourself having to foot the bill. Of course, it’s rarely worth turning down medication in total on the principle you might have to pay for it. That might end with you getting sicker, jeopardizing your finances even further.
Stick to the network
It’s not just medicines that will be in part predetermined by your coverage. Who you get your treatments from and where is just as much part of the plan. Most people are already aware that insurance providers have networks of healthcare professionals they team up with. In going with in-network providers, you’re likely to pay less for treatments. However, a lot of people don’t know that your doctor and your hospital or practice could be on different networks. Meaning, you could go to the same practice you’ve been going to, thinking you’re covered, but your choice of doctor actually means your treatments are out of network.
Mind the gaps
Every insurance policy has the danger of including more gaps than you might realize. This is as true of Medicare as it is for any other provider. Some of the most major work not covered by standard Medicare includes routine dental care, glasses prescriptions, hearing aids, and a lot of specific long-term support and care. But you don’t have to accept that. In private insurance circles, it might be as simple as changing your plan. In Medicare, you don’t have to get off it in order to get more coverage. Instead, look at Medicare supplement packages to see the further deals that bring all of it under your agreement. If you choose not to, then be prepared to pay full-price on treatments outside your coverage and save up, at least.
Beyond the tips mentioned above, stay vigilant regarding your costs. Make sure you’re not falling prey to billing errors or paying for “free checkups.” Watch out for insurance denials and be prepared to use a claims assistance professional when you need them.

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