Any time the Insurance changes we go in to freak out mode. Having a child with multiple medical conditions and trying to manage it all is a super daunting task if you are not extra organized, like me. I’m getting better over the years but it has been one long road mixed with a few tears. This topic is one AIM would love to give our readers a few tips about especially for those things we’ve found out the hard way. Our goal here is to help you a smidge before things get too crazy.
I’ll be honest, the days of having excellent insurance coverage are far and few between now. If you are fortunate to have decent insurance in the first place, you often find it’s more fluff and fine print than coverage or “benefits”. With the amount taken out of a paycheck monthly, then co-pays, deductibles, out of pockets and co insurance who can really afford insurance these days when it comes time to actually use it? It often becomes a game of balance and really getting in to the fine print of the plan itself to actually capitalize on the “benefits” to your family.
Below are a few things highlighted that we have found helpful either by mistake, necessity or when navigating through a momentary crisis.
CERTIFICATE OF COVERAGE: Get your “Certificate of Coverage” free of charge BEFORE you sign up for your latest plan if possible. If already in the middle of the plan, you can request one simply by calling your employer HR dept or even the insurance company itself. Either can issue this to you. I’ve been given the COC easily through email but it can also be mailed in paper form as well. Sometimes you can even find it online if you have a third party type plan and access with a user name and password. Just ask. Promise it will be worth the two hours of time it takes for you to read through it and discover all things excluded or available to you that even the customer service people fail to know.
The fine details and conditions (benefits, exclusions, obligations, co-pays, pre-certifications, appeal process, and preferred healthcare provider networks) will be listed in this 200+ page pdf but I promise you, you’ll learn a thing or two and be in a better position to decide if the plan offered is something your family can live with or not. So important when literally every penny counts these days.