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Health Insurance Basics

3 Ways to Use Your Benefits When You’re Healthy

March 27, 2019
When we choose health insurance plans, we usually consider how well the plan will help us when we're sick or injured. But many plans offer benefits that are just as valuable when we're healthy. These can include preventive care services, discounted or free medical equipment and even rebates on health and fitness club memberships. Here are three kinds of perks to look for in your plan.

1. Get Preventive Care

Preventive care benefits are among the most important benefits a health insurance plan can offer. Your annual well visit is what often comes to mind, but it can also include free exams, screenings and immunizations that can help spot potential health issues before they become serious problems. The list of eligible services can vary for men, women and children but, in general, they can include screenings for:
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hepatitis
  • HIV
  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer
Keep in mind that your deductible, copay or coinsurance may apply if screenings show problems and you need follow-up care.
Plans also usually cover a number of immunizations at no charge, including those that prevent:
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Herpes zoster
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Influenza
  • Measles, mumps and rubella
  • Pneumonia
  • Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis
  • Varicella

2. Get Medical Equipment

Depending on your plan, some medical equipment may be covered at no cost to you, including:
  • Breast pumps
  • Canes, crutches and walkers
  • Diabetic supplies
  • Oxygen supplies

3. Get Rebates or Discounts for Healthy Habits

Staying healthy isn’t just a matter of doctor visits and prescriptions. Losing weight, quitting smoking and becoming more physically active are among the ways we can live longer and healthier lives. That’s why many insurance plans may cover services such as:
  • Gym memberships — some health plans may reimburse a portion of your annual health club membership or offer lower fees for access to certain health clubs.
  • Weight loss counseling — your plan may offer rebates for weight-loss programs, such as those offered by Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or local hospitals.
  • Smoking cessation — some insurance plans cover both counseling and medication to help smokers quit. 

Know Your Health Plan

Some of these advantages are available through health plans that qualify under the Affordable Care Act. Other benefits may be offered depending on the insurer and plan you choose. Be sure you read and understand your plan’s benefits to get the most out of your annual health insurance investment.