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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Book Review: Navigating Your Health Benefits for Dummies

Navigating Your Health Benefits for Dummies is actually more of a booklet than an actual book. I think that it is worth the read for most people. When I started at my first job with benefits I didn't know much about health insurance and I found that most people I asked didn't have a clue either. After several years in the health care industry, I have managed to learn most of the information that was found in this booklet on my own, but it sure would have been nice to have all of this info in one convenient place when I was starting out. You can get this handy booklet for $1.20 from Amazon, or you can get it for free by signing up at this link: (The perk with Amazon is that it will get to you several weeks earlier.) It's short, easy to read and to the point. If you are just starting out or trying to get a handle on you health benefits, I highly recommend reading this book. It outlines what to expect of your health insurance, different kinds of plans, defines those crazy abbreviations you hear thrown around and gives tips on saving money. Here's a list of ways you can save money on your health care from this book.
  • Find the plan that best suits you. Don't pay for what you're not going to use and make sure you have sufficient coverage.
  • Maximize you health benefits. If they offer free vaccinations, use them.
  • Enroll in a tax-advantaged account (HSA or FSA)
  • See if your health-insurance company or employer offers an incentive program for getting fit. Many do.
  • Order generic prescriptions by mail.
  • See doctors from you network. This can save you a lot of money, check before you go.
  • Take advantage of Open Enrollment. This is the time to make necessary changes.
  • Speak up about your claims. The people at your insurance company are human. Sometimes they make honest mistakes. Recently my daughter's claims kept bouncing back unpaid. After some investigation I discovered it was because somewhere along the way her name was spelled wrong. Problem solved, money saved.
  • Pursue special discounts. Sometimes you can get discounts through your insurance company on gym memberships, smoking cessation programs and massage therapists.
  • Stay Healthy. Relish your good health. It's a wonderful thing and do your best to make it last.

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