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Health Insurance Basics

Get the Most Out of Your New Health Plan

June 22, 2017

You’ve signed up for a health care plan. Great, what’s the next step? Health plans can be complex and sometimes confusing. This guide will step you through the basics of how to take full advantage of your new plan, from finding doctors to checking your benefits online, and even using the latest tools and apps your plan offers.

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Great, you’ve signed up for a health care plan. Now what? Here’s a guide to make sure you’re all set:

Use the Cool Tools
  • The first thing you should do is register online. You’ll be able to find doctors in your plan, view your benefits and see your claims. Download our plan’s mobile app to have all your info – even a replica of your ID card – on the go. If you have pharmacy benefits, you can also check prescription prices and get refills.
Choose a Doctor … You’ll Get Better Care and Save on Costs!
  • Pick a primary care doctor in your plan—think of them as the quarterback for your care.
  • And if you need care, be sure all your doctors, including specialists and facilities are in your plan too. It will help you save a lot money.
Price Check Medicines
  • Shop around for your medications. Prescription costs vary by pharmacy, and some retailers offer common drugs for as little as a $4 co-pay.
  • You can save money by switching to generics which can be up to 52% cheaper than name brand drugs.
  • Have your prescriptions come to you. A 90-day mail order supply could cost less than buying a month at a time at the corner drugstore.
Think Location, Location, Location
  • Shop around for tests and procedures. A standalone lab, clinic or testing facility can save you a bundle over a hospital.
  • Only 2% of customers used a cost comparison tool to compare prices in 2013.* Make sure you check them out before you schedule a procedure.
  • If you have a 103-degree fever and the doctor’s office is closed, an urgent care center, retail health clinic, or walk-in clinic may fit the bill—without a huge price tag. You can plan ahead by using your plan’s website or mobile app to find clinics near you.
Get Free Medical Advice 24/7
  • Use your plan’s 24/7 NurseLine. Just call the number on your ID card to talk to an expert. You can ask questions about symptoms and treatment, and get a sympathetic ear.

*According to the Catalyst for Payment Reform