We’ve all heard the saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it,” and the same sentiment can be applied to your health plan. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), an additional estimated 20 million Americans now have health coverage. It’s up to you to make sure you take advantage of everything your insurance has to offer.
Beyond taking a closer look at the details of your specific plan, here are a few easy and basic ways to make the most of the benefits included in your health coverage.
- Wellness Visit: These provide an overall picture of your health and how you can make improvements by checking stats like blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index (BMI) and weight.
- Preventive Services: Keeping you healthy is just as important to your provider as it is to you. So be sure to use any and all free services they offer, which can include immunizations, colonoscopies, diabetes checks, contraceptives, osteoporosis and anemia screenings, prenatal care and mammograms, just to name a few.
- Education: Many plans include classes on fitness, nutrition, overall healthy living and chronic disease management.
- Annual Physical: Preventive exams are key to catching any serious health issues like cancer and diabetes early, before they start, or early enough to be properly treated. It’s also a great time to talk to your doctor about any health concerns you may have, and to get important shots and vaccinations.
- Discounts: You’d be surprised what kind of health and wellness products and services may be available through your insurance. Think discounts on gym memberships, eye exams, and chiropractic or acupuncture visits, as well as programs and support groups to help quit smoking.
- Nurse Advice Line: Typically available 24/7, you can save yourself and your family a trip to the emergency room or urgent care by calling these helplines , which have registered nurses on hand to answer your questions and point you in the right direction.
- Prescriptions: Not only is medication more affordable if your doctor prescribes you the generic version, but if your plan has a mail service pharmacy option, you’ll be able to save a trip to the pharmacy.