Always double check doctors in the network

If you don’t read your health insurance policy now and then, you could miss important information. Keep up to date with insurance changes.

If you pay for something expensive, like a high-definition TV, you make sure you find out everything you need to know about it. How to turn it on, adjust it and troubleshoot it, etc. You wouldn’t think to just set it up and turn it on and hope it works OK. It’s the same with a computer. You make sure you know how it works well enough to do your job and you may even read the manual now and then to figure out how something works.

While health insurance isn’t exactly a high-definition TV or a computer, it is reasonably pricey and you expect it to work for you. But do you realize just how many people do not read their policies? These people often get caught in a situation later where they need to use their health insurance and find out they aren’t covered for what they thought they were. No one is happy when that happens.

Really, your health insurance policy needs to be kept with other important records and you need to know what is in it so you don’t get nasty surprises later. As an example, your insurance might need a prior approval for surgery or a treatment. It may need a referral from your primary health services provider to see a specialist. If you don’t know this, it could be a problem. This is where you want to be checking your plan’s list to see whether or not the doctor(s) you want to see are still in the network. Sometimes they change.

You also want to be checking cutoff dates and techniques. Here’s an example. Say you have a referral to a specialist and when you’re done the first appointment, three more are booked. Later, you get a bill for two visits that were not covered. Turns out, if you had checked your policy, you would have known that the referral was good for just two visits. Other things that could happen with referrals are they may only be good for 30 days or are not valid if you have them faxed. This is important stuff to know. This is why so many insurance agents strongly suggest you read your policy.

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