This post is sponsored by United Healthcare. Content and opinions are my own.
When I dialed 9-1-1 on January 23, 2015, my healthcare plan was the farthest thing from my mind.
I needed to get my daughter to the hospital, and I needed to get her there FAST!
I did not know on that day that eight months later we’d be facing more than $100,000 in medical bills.
Nor did I know that I’d be grateful for the company that was cutting my husband’s salary by twenty three percent in March of 2015.
This year was for us, the year most of us never plan for yet the one we should all plan for when it comes to health insurance.
My family is generally healthy and not in need of much medical care outside of regular check ups and the occasional virus… Oh wait… We’ve made so many visits to the ER that the nurses and doctors almost know us by name. Oh yes those ER visits can add up real fast! Thankfully we are covered. My husband works for a major healthcare provider, and though I’ve grumbled far too many times about his reduction in salary I cannot tell you how thankful I am that we have the health care coverage we do!
Our healthcare plan isn’t perfect — Cris works for a PPO so we are limited to doctors and service offered by the company. If I want to see a chiropractor or acupuncturist, I’m on pretty much on my own. The same goes for getting a thermography breast exam instead of a mammogram. On the other hand cat scans, MRI’s, and other costly exams are all covered and let me tell you, with my family, that is a really good thing!
And when it comes to emergencies my healthcare plan is truly unbeatable!
Let’s face it no healthcare plan is perfect and that’s why it’s important for you to take the time to pick the one that is best for YOU and your family.
5 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Healthcare Plan
With the month of November we enter into “Open Enrollment” season — the time to research and commit to a healthcare plan for the coming year. For most of us that also means massive headaches as we try to make sense of all the options offered. Here are 5 things that will make choosing the right insurance a little easier:
Who will be covered by your healthcare plan?
Healthcare plans come in all shapes and sizes to meet the specific needs of individuals and families alike. Your starting point when researching plans will be to determine who will be covered under the plan. Did you know that the Affordable Care Act requires health plans and issuers that offer dependent coverage to make the coverage available until a child reaches the age of 26? Even if your young adult is married she still qualifies. I know that’s a relief for parents and young adults alike. Make sure you know the specifics of that coverage though so you have no surprises if ever an emergency should arise. My oldest daughter is eighteen and a college freshman… in Canada! Though she is covered under our current plan we’d have to pay everything out of pocket upfront then submit our bills for reimbursement and wait patiently. So she has her own Canadian plan as well.
What is your general health?
Are the members in your family generally in good health and seldom in need of medical care? Does anyone in the family suffer from a chronic medical condition? Are you or your children prone to frequent illnesses? The cost of a visit to the doctor will change drastically depending on your specific coverage. I suggest you take a look at the last three or four years to see what the average number of visits is for your family in a year.
What type of care do you prefer?
The best kind of medicine for me is Integrated or Complimentary medicine — I lean mostly on natural and preventive care but will turn to traditional or allopathic care when needed. I avoid chemical medications unless absolutely necessary and favor homeopathic and other natural remedies such as essential oils instead. That is where my current health plan is extremely limited. Most of the services covered fall under the umbrella of traditional Western medicine. And though there has been a significant increase in the coverage of non-traditional services such as acupuncture and chiropractic care, these options are still far too limited to suit my personal needs. If I want to get a thermography breast exam instead of a mammogram for example, that will be at my own expense.
Do you take regular medication?
For years I relied on a very expensive medication to tame my migraines when they became unbearable. Without my coverage those meds would have been unaffordable and I would have most likely lost far more work days and been much more of an absentee mom than I ever would have wanted. Thank goodness I never had to be without. If you use medications on a regular basis you definitely want to make sure your plan offers the best medications coverage possible. Without it you could be spending a fortune!!!
What kind of Emergency Coverage is included in your healthcare plan?
Whether you have children or not, aging parents or not, please make sure you choose a plan with really good emergency coverage. Time and again I’ve heard horror stories of families facing an overwhelming debt, or worse, loosing their home because of a medical emergency. Emergencies can happen at any time, anywhere. Trust me I know this all too well. And that is where my healthcare plan really shines! I can’t even imagine what this past year would have been like if we did not have the coverage we do and thankfully I never will have to.
This is the time for you to take a little time and make sure you are covered the way you need to be.
To take some of the stress out of choosing the right healthcare plan I’ve partnered with United Healthcare to bring you three fun dares.
Go to wedareyoutoshare to test your health smarts or watch an informative video and enter to win one of two $400 gift cards.
How about a game of “Concentration” for a chance to win a fabulous Ninja Blender, the perfect tool for preparing healthy meals. 🙂
Enter as often as every day and you also qualify for weekly prizes of a $25 Gift card 🙂
I wish you all the best with the United Healthcare November dares, but more than anything I wish you and your family a healthy and happy holiday season!!
What is the most important to you and your family when it comes to healthcare?
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