Your health insurance policy will be there when you need it as long as you pay your monthly premium. Premium is the term used to describe the money you pay for your health insurance or plan. You usually pay it monthly. Premiums are not included in your out-of-pocket costs. The term out-of-pocket costs describes the fees you pay in addition to your premium, such as copays for doctor’s office visits or prescription medications.

Here are some tips to help you use your health insurance plan effectively:

  • Pay your premiums on time. If you haven’t received a bill for your coverage, don’t wait—contact your insurance company or agent to find out what you owe.
  • Your bill should state the date your premium is due. Pay your bill on time; otherwise you may lose your coverage.
  • Most health plans offer different ways to pay your premiums, such as by mail or through automatic payments.
  • If you miss a payment and are receiving advanced premium tax credits, your insurance company is obligated to provide a 90-day grace period. If you pay your total balance during this 90-day period, your insurance coverage will not be terminated. However, individuals who have not yet paid at least one month’s premium are not eligible for the grace period.
  • Even if you see a doctor and receive treatment requiring copays, you still need to pay your premium each month.
  • If you are late on paying your premiums, your health insurance company may withhold paying any healthcare claims you have submitted.
  • Review your plan’s summary of benefits and coverage to learn more about what your premiums and out-of-pocket costs are.
  • Make sure you choose doctors who take your plan. Consult the provider directory provided by your health insurance company.





Get Covered America. I got covered. What’s next?

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U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2015, Jan. 3). Did you pay your premium?

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Health reform FAQs: Market eligibility, enrollment periods, plans, and premiums.

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