Whenever you switch insurance plans, it doesn’t take long before the mailman drops off a big welcome kit at your door. While it can be tempting to throw it into the “I’ll get to it someday” pile, that might cause you to miss out on some important information (and perks!).
Just like no two insurance plans are alike, each welcome kit might be a little different. But one thing they all have in common is that they are full of helpful information that you can use to get the most out of your plan.
Here are the three things to do when your kit arrives:
- Double-check your plan. Most health insurance companies offer lots of different plans, so this is the time to make sure you have signed up for the one you wanted. Look to see what your copays are, how much your deductible is and what the rules are for when you want to see a specialist. If anything doesn’t look right, call the member service phone number on the back of your membership card as soon as possible.
- Find the reference information. Keeping track of your health is a complicated business, so it’s important to know as much as you can before there’s a problem. Welcome packets typically have clearly marked pages full of key phone numbers, instructions on finding a doctor, procedures for filing claims and how to handle a medical emergency. You might also find lists of what prescription drugs are covered, or provider and pharmacy directories.
- Discover all of your perks. While health insurance plans are there to help you when you’re sick, many also have lots of benefits that go beyond covering traditional doctors’ appointments. Yours might offer free nutritional counseling, immunizations, tobacco cessation support, discounts at gyms and more. If you don’t read through your welcome kit, you might miss out on all the great perks that are available to you, like exclusive discounts for Blue Cross Blue Shield members.
For more information on using your plan, check out these articles:
- How to Make the Most of Your Health Insurance
- Understanding Your Health Insurance: How Your Medical Expenses Get Paid
- Are You Taking Better Care of Your Car Than Your Health? Five Ways to Take Control
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on MI Blues Perspectives. Blues Perspectives provides fresh insights and information from the communications teams at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) and Blue Care Network (BCN).