Now that we’re in September, we’re winding up the year. Some of us have barely needed our health insurance (including, knock on wood, my daughter) and others, like myself, are constantly using our benefits. With this pregnancy, I am so glad I have decent health insurance coverage!
I know it’s hard to think ahead so far but it’s time to evaluate your family’s health care needs for next year, as open enrollment is coming up quickly. Yes, our providers usually give us some time to look at and research any available plans, but if you’ve already gotten this out of the way, selecting new coverage or continuing existing coverage will be easier to complete come November.
- Plan. Know what big health care expenses may come up in the next year. For instance, we’re likely to hit my personal out-of-pocket max for the year fairly early with delivery costs. We know this and are earmarking money to pay those bills by setting aside the maximum amount I could pay, perhaps even using a flexible spending account. Just be aware what’s coming and try to plan the best you can financially.
- Prepare. Scope out your area and look for the nearest urgent care facility. I always take note when I find a new one as they are far faster and cheaper than emergency room visits. I have many friends in the medical field that are constantly stating that we should save the ER for real emergencies. Also, some plans offer a 24/7 nursing hotline to help you with health answers or decide if an issue is urgent enough to warrant medical care right away or can wait a day or two. Finally, keep your preferred pharmacy’s phone number on hand, perhaps even in your cell phone. With most doctors moving to medical reporting, they can keep that number on file and usually send prescriptions electronically. I just got a text an hour or so that my prescription that my doctor sent electronically is ready to be picked up – no waiting around!
- Prevent. Our insurance offers free well-care physicals once a year. We definitely utilize this perk and make lists to ask all of our questions and address all of our concerns. Vaccinations are also free, including all of my children’s immunizations and all flu shots (got mine yesterday!). Take time to cut down your costs by making yourself as healthy as you can be. I know our health plan offers tons of wellness plans and information that are free for the taking.
Cigna also has some videos available that talk more about these points on YouTube. Here’s just one of them:
Even if your health care isn’t provided by Cigna, they have some excellent points that hold true for all health plans. Maximize what you get for your costs and try to keep costs down as much as possible. And, perhaps you’ll even come out healthier in the long run – I know your wallet will.
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Cigna. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.