Make your money go further and take advantage of all that your insurance plan offers.
When you understand what your insurance covers, it's easier to plan for any medical care you and your family may need during the year. Here are some steps to help you prepare for whatever comes your way.
Review spending and think forward
Knowing what you spent last year on health care can help you budget and save for the coming year. You can look back on your expenses by checking your claims history. Just sign in and go to your Claims page
. To find last year's claims, click Filter claims
and choose the date range you want to see. Your total charges are shown at the bottom of the page.
Once you have those totals, ask yourself:
- Will you need any special medicines, tests or procedures in the coming year?
- Do you need to buy or replace any medical equipment?
- If you have dental or vision coverage, will you need new glasses or will your child need braces?
- What specialists might you need to see?
Be sure to include those cost estimates when you budget for the coming year.
Set aside pre-tax dollars
If you have a health savings account (HSA), you can save up to $3,350 ($6,750 for family coverage) in pre-tax money. You can use these funds to pay for copays, deductibles, coinsurance and other qualified medical expenses. This includes chiropractic care, contraceptives, dental work, glasses and contacts, prescription birth control, stop-smoking programs, nursing home care and more. Learn more about HSAs and high-deductible plans.
Some employers offer a flexible spending account (FSA). The money you deposit into an FSA is usually "use it or lose it" by the end of the year, so saving just the right amount is important. Check your employer's FSA policy to see if there's a roll-over or grace period for spending any unused funds at the end of the year.
Tip: When you do your taxes, check the rules on contributing to your HSA. You may have until April 15 to make catch-up contributions for last year.
Use preventive care
One of the most important ways you can save money on health care is by staying healthy in the first place. That means going to the doctor before something happens—also called preventive care. Your plan covers preventive care at 100 percent, meaning there's no extra cost to you as long as you visit a provider in your network
Preventive care includes services such as:
- Yearly physical exams
- Flu shots and other immunizations
- Screenings for breast, prostate, cervical and colon cancer
Tip: To avoid extra expenses, make sure you only see doctors in your network. When you make your appointment, tell the doctor's office that your visit is for preventive care.
Understand your out-of-pocket maximum
The out-of-pocket maximum is the most you'll pay for medical costs in a single year. Medical costs that count toward your out-of-pocket maximum include your:
These medical costs do not count toward your out-of-pocket maximum:
- Bills for out-of-network providers
- Spending for services not covered by your plan
Know what to look for
Once you've seen your doctor, watch for the following items:
- Explanation of benefits (EOB): An EOB statement tells you how much of your bill is paid for by your insurance plan, and how much you're responsible for paying. You may receive more than one EOB for a visit, depending on the services you received. An EOB is not a bill.
- Doctor's bill: Once your insurance has paid its part of the bill, your doctor will send you a bill for the part you're responsible for paying. You may receive more than one bill for a visit depending on the services you received.
It's a good idea to compare your explanation of benefits with your final medical bill to make sure there are no errors.
Want to cut down on paper waste and stop getting EOBs in the mail? Go paperless by changing your EOB statement delivery options on My account