After You Buy Health Insurance

Once you’re approved for coverage you will receive official correspondence from the insurance company confirming the date on which your coverage will begin. After that date, you are welcome to begin enjoying your benefits. Look over any documents sent to you by the insurance company and contact their customer service department or your agent with any questions.

Questions about your medical claims

If you have questions or concerns about how a medical claim was processed, your first step is to contact the health insurance company’s customer service department. If they are unable to assist you or you feel that they’re not addressing your concerns, contact your health insurance agent for help (if you worked with one). Because of his or her relationship with the health insurance company, your agent can help you understand how your benefits work and may be able to suggest ways to clear up billing disputes.

Adding and removing dependents

Family changes such as a marriage, the birth or adoption of a child, or an older child’s 26th birthday may mean that you need to make changes to the list of persons covered by your health insurance plan. Contact your health insurance company for instructions on how to do so.

Changes to monthly premiums and benefits

Depending on how long you keep your new coverage, you may find that the insurance company occasionally changes the monthly premium you pay for your coverage. They may also make changes to how benefits are covered or paid. Be sure to read through the updates provided by your insurance company and contact their customer service department or your agent for more information.

An annual health insurance checkup

eHealth recommends health insurance policy holders take a fresh look at their medical coverage during open enrollment to make sure they still have the right plan for their needs and budget. To give your health insurance coverage a check-up, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I paying too much for coverage?

    If you’re healthy and had few or no health insurance claims in the past year, you may be able to reduce your monthly premiums by switching to a plan with a higher deductible. If you do switch to a higher deductible plan, be sure you can afford the deductible in case of an accident or unexpected illness.

  • Does my current plan cover the services I need?

    If you find that you’re paying too much out of pocket for recurring medical services or prescription drugs, you may want to consider a plan that covers these at a higher level, even if your monthly premium increases.

  • Have I experienced any big life changes?

    If you were recently married or divorced, had a child, or gained or lost income - or if you anticipate these things happening in the year to come - it may be time to reconsider your health insurance options. Take a look at quotes from other health insurance companies in your area to make sure you’re not paying too much.

  • Do I have access to the doctors I want to see?

    If you’d like to be seen by a specific doctor or hospital not covered by your current plan, can help you find out which health plans that doctor or hospital accepts. If you’re enrolled in an HMO plan and want to be able to see a specialist without a referral, you may want to consider a different type of coverage -- like a PPO or EPO plan, for example.

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