You know health insurance is important. If you twist your ankle during a morning run, come down with a nasty virus, or end up battling a serious illness or injury, health insurance can help you get the treatment you need affordably.
But health insurance benefits can be so much more than that. Not only can you rely on health insurance when you get sick, but you can also count on it to help you avoid getting sick in the first place. Working at a health care insurance provider, I’m thankfully reminded daily to know about all the benefits offered to me through my plan and to take advantage of them. That said, I’m human, and know I could probably go to the gym a little more, or work on my eating habits. The year 2017 was a good one for me, but I’m personally making an effort to really use all of the health and wellness offerings I have through Independence Blue Cross and focus on my well-being. You should, too.
During open enrollment season you had an opportunity to take a closer look at the plans your employer offers and all the tools and benefits available to you to stay healthy. And the New Year is the classic impetus to begin using them.
Part of my job is attending open enrollment fairs and meetings, and I’m always surprised how many people I speak to don’t really know about all of the wellness benefits available to them.
Take the time to go through your benefit plan materials. Read up on all the plan offers and plan out how you can take advantage of everything available to you. Here are some areas you should be sure to look into:
- The IBX Mobile app. Download the mobile app on your Android or Apple smartphone and have coverage information anytime, anywhere. The app also can help you find in-network care no matter where you are, and includes a paperless version of your ID card in case you misplace yours.
- Ibxpress.com. The member portal is your go-to destination for all the information you might need about your plan, including your claims history, billing information, and doctors in your network.
- Urgent care and health care clinics near you. Both the app and the portal allow you to find urgent care centers and retail clinics in your community. These are great choices to consider when you need quick access to care but aren’t sick or hurt enough to need the services of a hospital emergency room. Learn how to tell when you need an ER so you’ll be prepared.
- Primary care physician (PCP). Think about your relationship with your PCP. If you don’t have a PCP, or want to consider switching, use the provider finder on the app or the member portal to start your search.
- Text messaging. We all need a helpful reminder sometimes, and through IBX Wire, Independence offers customized text and/or email messages to members who opt in. Sign up for preventative screening reminders, health tips, and more.
- Telemedicine. Some of our plans include telemedicine – the option to consult with a physician via phone and secure video instead of in-office. If your plan offers telemedicine, learn more about how the system works and register you and your dependents before you get sick. That way, it’s ready to go when you need it.
- Reimbursements and discounts. Staying as healthy as possible means taking care of yourself. To make that easier and encourage healthy choices, we offer a number of wellness perks, like our Achieve Well-being program and reimbursements for gym membership, weight loss programs, and smoking cessation.
Remember: your health insurance benefits should be something you use all the time – from yearly check-up visits to important screenings to wellness benefits. Make the most of your plan this year, and make it a happy and healthy 2018.
This blog was originally published on LinkedIn.