So, your health insurance has quite a few exclusions, like dental care and vision, and you’re looking for a way to keep up with those services and save money while you’re doing it.
It’s not uncommon for your health coverage to have some gaps to fill. In fact, most health insurance plans have some key exclusions (read more) for which you could be paying for the full price of service, and all out-of-pocket.
You can fill those insurance gaps – like dental, vision, alternative medicine, chiropractic and hearing – while complementing your health insurance or Medicare coverage with a discount health plan. These non-insurance solutions can help make those services more affordable so you don’t have to avoid what you need because of the high costs.
To learn more about discount health plans, click here. And, if you choose to shop for a plan online, here are some tips that can help before you purchase a membership.
Double-check your current benefits: If you have health insurance, refer to your insurance company’s Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC). This should outline what is covered and what is not covered. There is no need to duplicate your health insurance, and you should not replace it with a non-insurance discount health plan. But, you can save money with a discount health plan that makes non-covered services more affordable.
Shop around for options: You can search for plans in your area through these companies. Know that every program is different, and your potential savings of 20% to 60% off services will vary based on the location and procedure. Research your options and find a discount health plan that best suits your needs and budget.
Look for providers nearby: All discount health plans should have a list of participating providers for you to check before joining. You’ll want to make sure you have reasonable access to providers in your area. You can also directly contact a provider listed to confirm that they participate in a specific discount health plan you’re reviewing.
Review the plan summary and details: Discount health plans should have a list of details and features. This list may include valuable information that can help you choose the best plan. For example, the plan may only feature a single service, like dental-only or vision-only. Or, the plan may offer a bundled combination of services at a discount, like dental, vision, hearing, and alternative medicine. And, many discount health plans have telehealth services added to their offering.
Double-check the T’s and C’s: Make sure the discount health plan has clear disclosure materials and defined terms and conditions for you to review before purchasing. If you have questions, look for a toll free number to call and help clarify any information you need to know about the plan. Also, review the company’s cancellation or refund policy to make sure that a 30-day refund policy is offered for your membership fee if you are not satisfied with your purchase.
Things to avoid: Watch out for any plans and companies that ask for large fees up-front, and neglect to state that discount health plans are not insurance. Check with your state insurance department, since many states license discount health plans. You should be able to find a rating and more information by searching for the company online through your local Better Business Bureau chapter.
For more information about discount health plans, please review our FAQ’s section here.
(Image via ABC News.)