National Insurance Awareness Day is a day for everyone to review their or their family’s health insurance plans and ensure that they have the right coverage in place. For physicians, National Insurance Awareness Day is an opportunity to remind your patients to take stock of their health insurance to possibly increase their engagement in their healthcare. For example, a patient might be unaware that their insurance plan covers them for annual wellness visits. If they review their insurance, learn about that benefit and make an appointment, they could proactively detect health issues earlier, so treatment is easier, less invasive, and can achieve the best medical outcome possible.
In that spirit, the following information is a reminder for you or for you to give to your patients about reviewing their health insurance policy, and how to select a health insurance provider if seeking improved coverage.
Where to Find Health Insurance Information?
In order to review your health insurance plan, ask your insurance company or your employer to provide you with a Summary of Benefits, which is a short list that describes your benefits and costs. It also helps to keep a physical copy of your insurance policy if you ever need to consult it to find out which services are or are not covered.
Many insurance providers allow you to check your health plan online or by telephone, and some employers make employee benefits information available through human resources software.
How to Enroll in Government-Provided Insurance Coverage?
Both federal and state governments provide information online about how to find an insurance provider, how to get help with problems with your insurance, and also useful information about Medicare. For example, at the California Department of Insurance, California residents can learn the basics of their benefits and costs of their current insurance, or find insurance providers.
At Healthcare.gov, you can find government-provided health insurance, information about the marketplace, and see if you qualify for special enrollment. For any patients who have recently lost coverage, or had a change to their income or family size, they may be able to enroll in a new insurance plan.
Increase Patient Engagement by Encouraging Health Insurance Plans Audits
Patients who are proactively engaged in their healthcare often see more positive outcomes. A simple way to keep patients engaged is to encourage them to review their health insurance plans, so that they know what types of medical services are covered or aren’t covered. Many patients may be unaware of the extent of their coverage, such as the Annual Wellness Visits in the above example. Doing a little extra research contributes to the patient’s ability to engage and get effective medical treatment in an affordable way.