5 tips to get the most out of your health care benefits this year

Whether you switched to a new health plan during open enrollment or opted to stick with the plan you had, for most Americans, January means the start of a new year of benefits. It’s also a great time to better understand your coverage to help you get the most out of your plan, improve your health and perhaps, even save money in the year ahead.

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Following these five tips may help you get the most out of your health care benefits this year.

  1. Learn the lingo
    Using your health plan to your advantage starts with understanding basic health plan terms such as deductible, copay, coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximum. Need a refresher course? Watch this video or go to justplainclear.com to better understand common health insurance terms, and help you apply them to your situation by checking your specific plan amounts. That way you’ll have a better idea of what to expect when you access care throughout the year.
  2. Consider telehealth options
    With COVID-19 keeping many of us at home, accessing in-person health care services has been a bit more challenging. Virtual appointments have become a lot more popular, with physicians and other health professionals now seeing 50-175 times the number of patients via telehealth than they did before the pandemic. A virtual visit may help you save money and address your needs in a more convenient way. You may also have access to virtual options for specialty benefits to help you care for your eyes, ears and more from the comfort of your home. Check with your health plan for more information. 
  3. Enroll in prescription delivery
    Make sure your medications are covered by your plan and ask your doctor about generics to see if there’s a more affordable and equally effective alternative to a drug you’re taking. Then, consider getting your prescriptions through the mail, as it may be a good cost-saving option. Most plans enable you to order up to a three-month supply of medication you take regularly, sometimes at a discount. Your medication will be delivered right to your home, saving you a trip to the pharmacy.
  4. Take advantage of wellness programs
    Many health plans offer wellness programs that offer financial incentives for completing health assessments, signing up for health coaching programs, lowering your cholesterol, losing weight, meeting certain walking goals or stopping smoking. 

    With some gyms closed due to COVID-19, subscribing to a digital fitness app or enrolling in an online weight-loss program may provide additional support and structure. If you’ve been wanting to try Apple Fitness+, a new perk this year gives UnitedHealthcare Motion members access for six months at no additional cost. 
  5. Explore behavioral health care programs
    If you’re among those struggling with your mental health, especially amid the uncertainty of the pandemic, you are not alone. Last year, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use.

    Check your current plan benefits to see what’s covered for behavioral health services. If you are insured under UnitedHealthcare, you may have access to resources, like an on-demand emotional support app called SanvelloAbleTo’s eight-week virtual therapy program, an app-based eating disorder treatment called Recovery Record or behavioral health virtual care. You may also find a mental health professional through the network provider search tool

Take advantage of the New Year and fresh start by making the most out of your health benefits. Doing so may help you save money and improve your overall wellness all year long.