People who can answer these five questions are in much better shape than the majority of the public, and can rest assured they have likely made a smart choice in choosing a plan
San Carlos, CA (PRWEB) June 28, 2012
It’s National Insurance Awareness Day and San Mateo health insurance agent Tony Uccelli says it’s the perfect time to brush up on insurance intellect. Here, he offers five questions about health plans that every person needs to ask before overspending on health insurance.
1. How does my health plan cover preventative care?
Many people don’t realize there are huge differences between plans issued before March 2010 and after, including transfers, which involve issues like co-pays and whether or not their lab work is subject to a deductible. The differences are so huge that people over 50 who need a colonoscopy could either pay thousands of dollars or nothing at all.
2. What’s my office visit co-pay and how many visits does it apply to annually?
Some healthcare plans limit the amount of times a patient can see the doctor before they need to pay their deductible, while others won’t even cover an office visit until the annual out-of-pocket maximum has been hit, which begs the next question.
3. What’s my annual out-of-pocket maximum?
The out-of-pocket maximum – the amount after which a plan covers 100% of costs – is probably the most important component of the coverage, yet most people don’t know this figure, and think they will only pay this maximum amount “in a catastrophe.” In today’s world, the bills for emergency room visits and out-patient surgeries can be through the roof. One client recently had a $5000 ambulance ride, another a $32,000 knee surgery – these are events that could happen to ANYONE. Be prepared to pay your annual out-of-pocket maximum.
4. How does my plan pay if I’m out of network?
Most people realize their benefits are reduced if they go out of network, but they really don’t know by how much. Trust me, people cannot rely on their benefit summaries on this issue because they don’t incorporate “balance billing” – when the insured pays the entire difference between billed amount and allowed amount. Also, many plans have separate annual maximums for out-of-network providers, so patients could have to meet two different totals.
People should really understand how their plans pay on this issue if they ever plan to or need to use out-of-network providers.
5. What types of prescription drugs does my plan cover?
Does it cover both brand and generic medications? Many plans today steer members to generic prescriptions (which helps keeps costs and premiums down), but that means brand-name medications are not available at all or patients have to meet a large deductible before they can access them. It’s important for people to know how their plan defines this issue.
Tony Uccelli understands that most people are unmotivated by the prospect to educate themselves about their medical plan. However, he says if people spend some time now, it can really pay off down the road. People who can answer the five questions above are in much better shape than the majority of the public, and can rest assured they have likely made a smart choice in choosing a plan, says Uccelli.
For more information about San Mateo health insurance or any of Tony Uccelli Agency’s products or services, call (650) 517-6064, visit http://www.tonyuccelli.com, or stop by 1153 Laurel St, San Carlos, CA.
About Tony Uccelli Agency
Tony Uccelli Agency is a full-service insurance services and financial planning agency that specializes in San Mateo term life insurance, medicare supplements, disability insurance, long term care insurance and health insurance.Since 1991, Tony Uccelli Agency hasassisted thousands of people in and around San Mateo with retirement planning, insurance and other financial planning needs.