You know that welcome packet you get in the mail when you start a new insurance policy? While it might be tempting to put it in the “you’ll read it someday” pile, you want to make sure you go through it. Your welcome kit will help you understand what your health insurance covers, provide helpful tips for getting the most out of your plan and outline all your extra perks, like member discounts. Here are three things to do when you receive your kit:
- Double-check the specifics. It’s important to understand the coverage you have, and it is all right there in the welcome kit. Confirm details like copays, deductibles and whether you need a referral to see a specialist. Make sure the information in the packet matches what you signed up for and, if not, call the number on the back of your card immediately.
- Bookmark any reference information. There is lots of helpful information in the packet, like key phone numbers, how to find a doctor, how to handle claims and what to do in an emergency. Some packets list what prescription drugs are covered, and include a provider and pharmacy directory. Flag those pages so they're easy to find if you need to refer to them in the future.
- Learn about perks. Your insurance plan may offer free nutritional counseling, immunizations, tobacco cessation support and other health resources. Make sure you take note of all the extra benefits that are included in your coverage so you can take advantage of them.
Keep in mind that all welcome kits are different, as each is tailored to your health plan selection. Regardless of differences, they have one thing in common: They're important- and very helpful- when it comes to understanding and using your health insurance. For other help staying on top of your coverage, check out these blogs:
- Have a HMO? Make Sure You Choose a Primary Doctor
- Essential Health Benefits 101: Mental Health & Substance Abuse
- The 5 Costs That Make Up Your Health Plan
Photo credit: Sebastian Wiertz