As a health insurance agent, one of the things I’ve noticed is that employees and clients are often unaware of the many perks they have access to with their existing employer sponsored and/or individual health insurance coverage. The problem is a result of the very limited amount of time that sales reps have to present this information during open enrollment and one-on-one meetings. You know those packets they hand out at your employee meetings? Inside we include a wealth of information with brochures about perks, but our experience is that very few people ever read through this information. Therefore, I’d like to outline here the top 5 perks that people often don’t realize they have access to.
Today’s major health insurance companies are now partnering with teledoc services, to help you save money on primary care and urgent care. Here is a list of websites you should be looking at if you have high deductible insurance.
- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield LiveHealth Online
- United Healthcare Doctor on Demand
- Humana One MDLive
- Humana Employee Doctor on Demand
- Rocky Mountain Health Plans MyDigitalMD
- Cigna MDLive
- Aetna Teledoc
There are most likely many more health insurance companies offering telemedicine services. If yours isn’t linked here, call the customer service number on your insurance card to ask about telemedicine.
Insurance companies have an incentive to help you stay healthy, so many of them are now offering reward incentives for participation in wellness programs. For example, Humana’s Go365 wellness plan helps you earn rewards while working toward improving your health. Many Anthem plans offer a gym reimbursement program for participating members. United Health Care also offers a fitness reimbursement program. Once again, it’s up to us to dig more deeply into the benefits that our health plans provide. After all, we are spending a lot of money for our coverage. We might as well make the most out of everything our health insurance plans have to offer!
If you haven’t created an online member ID and password on your health insurance company’ s website yet, you should! Every insurance company I know of offers an online member access portal for their subscribers. Once logged in, you will be able to view all of your benefit details and claims online. You will also be able re-order lost ID cards there. Some of them have tools where you can research the costs of specific procedures, so you can get the best prices while in the deductible phase of your health insurance coverage. If you are not utilizing your member portal, you could be missing out on important information about your policy.
Benefits While in the Deductible Phase of Your Coverage
Many people believe that they are “not covered” while in the deductible phase of their health insurance coverage. I’ve known clients to not even bother using their insurance card for prescriptions and office visits, because they believe they are not covered due to their high deductible. Nothing could be further from the truth. Simply being a member of a health insurance plan provides you with deep discounts, especially on lab work. For example, a thyroid panel for someone who is uninsured might run over $900, while an insured person with a $6000 deductible, just by submitting the claim to his or her insurance plan, will receive a huge discount for the same panel, resulting in a final bill under $100. Lab work is where you will find the deepest discounts. All health insurance plans now cover one annual physical, other adult preventive care, and all well-child procedures at 100%, even if your plan has a really high deductible, so be sure to take advantage of your wellness coverage. Here is a list of all preventive services that the Federal Government requires all health insurance plans to cover. Granted, the cost of these services are built into your premium as a result of the Affordable Care Act, and for now, this is the law of the land, so we might as well use what we are paying for!
Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
Employee Assistance Programs are put into place by employers and/or included as part of employer health insurance coverage to provide a place where employees can go to receive counseling when personal issues are affecting our ability to perform at work. The services are typically free and can be over-the-phone or in-person. If you are struggling with a personal issue, find out if your health plan offers EAP services. The services provide a confidential way for you to resolve personal problems that affect your ability to perform on-the-job, and EAP is less expensive than using the mental health benefits on your health plan. Where appropriate, EAP might better fit for counseling.