Getting the Most from Your Health Plan
Most health care plans offer you resources, tools and even retail discounts. For example, some plans offer perks to help members save time and money, lose weight, quit smoking and even get discounts at retail stores. Here you'll find some helpful tips for making any health plan work for you.
Making the Most of Your Medical Benefits
It's the primary reason you chose to get health insurance—the medical care benefits. If you want to get the most from these benefits, here are a few simple things you can do.
- Stay in the network. Most health plans have negotiated discounts with doctors, hospitals and other health care professionals in their network. That usually translates into lower out-of-pocket costs to you. Contact your insurance company to find a doctor nearby in your network.
- Use the ER for emergencies only. Real emergencies warrant a trip to the closest Emergency Room. However, you can usually save money on your copayment by saving colds, minor sprains and other less serious conditions for a doctor's office visit.
- Follow your doctor's orders. Be sure to take any medications, treatments or therapies your doctor has recommended. That way you can get back to health quickly and avoid additional copayments or costs.
- Double-check your coverage. Make sure services or treatments are covered before you schedule your next visit. Knowing this ahead of time can reduce your stress level.
- Stay Healthy. It makes sense that healthier people pay less in health insurance costs. Do your best to eat right, exercise and get regular health screenings. Encourage all family members to live a healthy lifestyle too.
- Conduct an "annual check-up" of your health plan. Make sure the plan you have still meets your needs. This is especially important if you have experienced any significant life-changing events in the past year, including the birth of a child, removal of an adult child from your health care policy, marriage or divorce.
Use Your Member Perks
Most health insurance plans offer valuable tools and conveniences to their members. To get the most out your plan, take full advantage of these member perks.
- Get online. Leading health insurers typically offer online account management where members can check the status of claims, view benefits information, find a doctor and much more.
- Take advantage of programs. If your plan has free health screenings or wellness programs, use them to improve your health. For example, some plans offer smoking cessation and weight loss programs free to members.
- Learn how to be healthy. Sign on for member newsletters or read online articles or health and fitness tips. Whether online or printed, you'll find valuable information to help keep you and your family healthy.
- Get retail discounts. Look into special member retail discounts.
Take Advantage of Blue Access for MembersSM
If you're already a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois member, you can access Blue Access for Members. It's the best way to get the most from your plan. When you register for Blue Access for Members, you can:
- Manage your account online
- Check the status of claims and set-up email alerts
- Order a new ID card and print a temporary card
- Begin a free program to help you lose weight or stop smoking
- Search and compare doctors, hospitals and dentists in your area
If you're already a member, register for Blue Access for Members .