Switching to a new health insurance company can be intimidating, especially if you are used to the way your old provider handled things. However, you can find out a lot through a simple phone call. Here are three things you should call and ask your new health insurance provider, and why.
1. Which Doctors Do You Work With?
Oftentimes, families become close with the doctors who take care of them, which can cause complicating problems when you have to switch health insurance. Never assume that your old doctors are covered by your new insurance plan. Instead, create a list of your physicians, and call the insurance company to make sure they are in-network. If they aren't in-network, ask if your policy provides any type of coverage for the doctors you have chosen.
2. What Information Is Available Online?
Ask insurance providers what information you can find out online by using their platform, and if there is a specific portal you need to use based on your individual employer. For instance, some insurance companies have easy-to-use tools that allow you to look up providers online, or even see a list of your recent claims, benefits paperwork, and online ID cards for every member of your family.
Talk with insurance companies to ask what they have available, and make sure you know how to find useful tutorials to use the website to it's fullest. Take some time to make your own online account so you can use it when you need to. Doing this while you have a customer care representative on the phone is especially helpful.
3. When Does the Plan Year Reset?
Your insurance benefits are paid out on a per-year basis, which typically resets on the first day of the year. However, depending on your employer, the plan year may reset at a different time. For instance, many school teachers have a plan year that starts at the beginning of the school year. Ask your insurance representative when the plan year starts and stops, so you know when to reenroll.
Remember, your insurance provider should be more than happy to answer any questions you have moving forward. If you come up with other questions as your family gets sick or you need medical care, call to ask about the details. Remember that if you are thinking about having a procedure performed, you can always find out the specific procedural codes and have your insurance company verify that it's covered.