Three tips for getting started with new health insurance coverage

Three tips for getting started with new health insurance coverage

You’ve selected a health insurance plan, enrolled and paid your first premium. Now what?

First, take a moment to appreciate the peace of mind that comes with knowing you and your family have access to the healthcare you need. You’ve taken the critical first step toward protecting your own wellbeing, and that of your loved ones. Now, it’s time to put it to use.

These three tips will help ensure a smooth start to your Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) coverage.

1. Learn about your network: Understanding which doctors and hospitals are in your network is the first step to using your coverage like a pro. BCBS companies contract with certain doctors and hospitals in your area, and you will pay significantly lower out-of-pocket costs for visiting them compared to doctors or hospitals that are out of network. Taking a moment to review this information to ensure you receive care within your network will make a big difference in keeping your costs down. Visit your BCBS company’s website, or call the 1-800 number on the back of your BCBS ID card to learn about the network available with your plan.

2. Choose a primary care doctor:  Choosing a primary care doctor from your network is the next step in your healthcare journey. Think of a primary care doctor as your personal healthcare quarterback. This is the doctor you’ll visit for preventative care, like your annual wellness exams and immunizations, and the person who should be your first call when you’re feeling sick. A primary care doctor can help you manage chronic conditions, provide referrals to specialists and answer any questions you have about your health. Find tips on how to choose a primary care doctor here.

3. Update your insurance at the pharmacy: Each time you enroll in a new health insurance plan, it’s important to be sure your pharmacy has your updated insurance information. Simply provide your new BCBS ID card to the pharmacist when you pick up a prescription. It’s also a good idea to check your new plan’s list of covered prescription drugs, called a formulary, and talk with your doctor if you need to make any updates to your medication. You can find a list of the prescription drugs covered by your plan on your BCBS company’s website, or by calling the 1-800 number on the back of your BCBS ID card. Get more information about using health insurance coverage at the pharmacy here.

BCBS companies are here to help if you have any questions as you begin using your coverage. Visit local BCBS company websites, social media pages or call the 1-800 number on the back of your BCBS ID card for assistance.

By Elizabeth Casey

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 36 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.