(services may vary across health insurance plans)
When most people consider health insurance, they think about the things it helps pay for: prescriptions, preventive services, doctor visits, etc. However health insurance companies are realizing that the healthier you are, the fewer medical expenses you are likely to have so many have begun to offer services and programs that will help you maintain or improve your health. Below are a few extra perks your health insurance policy may offer.
Nurse Advice Lines
Sometimes you just aren’t sure what to do. Maybe your baby has a slight fever, but seems fine otherwise, or you got stung by a bee and the swelling hasn’t gone down after several days. Do you actually need to see a doctor? While the Internet can give you advice (even if it’s not always good advice), most insurance companies offer a 24-hour help line at no cost for their policy-holders. If you have a question and it’s not an emergency, the nurse advice line can put your mind at ease. Ask your insurance company if they offer this service, and post the phone number on your fridge.
Health and Wellness Coaching
Your health insurance company can be a great resource, even when you’re feeling perfectly fine. Some companies offer health and wellness coaching to make sure that you stay happy and healthy. These programs can vary from diet and exercise programs to stress management, and may involve regular phone calls with your ‘coach.’ In some cases, an insurance company will even add money to your HSA account when you successfully complete a health and wellness program. If your insurance company offers coaching, take advantage of it! This can help even the healthiest people stay accountable.
Health insurance companies may provide you with free health supplies, depending on your situation. For instance, under the Affordable Care Act every insurance program is required to cover the cost of a breast pump and lactation counseling for pregnant and nursing women. Breast pumps can cost more than $100 so this is a perk you should definitely take advantage of. Your insurance company may also pay for diabetic testing and monitoring supplies, such as test strips, lancets, and even batteries. If you suffer from an injury, your insurance may cover the cost of crutches or a wheelchair. Some health insurance companies even offer discounts on gym memberships!
When you stay healthy, everyone benefits. If you’re thinking about switching insurance companies and want to make sure that you get one or more of the benefits listed above, work with a HealthMarkets agent. He or she will help you find the insurance plan that fits your lifestyle and budget, all at no cost to you.