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New Year, New Deductibles: What You Need to Know

deductible 2017A new year means the deductible on your medical plan resets to zero. What does this mean to you?  What should you remember as the New Year begins?

Refresh Your Memory

Hopefully you remembered to check out your deductible options during open enrollment this past fall. However, it’s always good to revisit your 2017 plan details and take note of your deductible to make sure you know the correct amount. Many plans have separate deductibles for in-network and out-of-network benefits. Take note of these amounts so you know exactly how much you have to spend before your plan starts paying benefits.

Know the Difference

Remember, medical insurance is different from homeowners and auto insurance. Those types of insurance don’t pay for any services until you pay your deductible first. With health insurance, many plans provide some benefits (like preventive services, immunizations, and screenings) before you meet the deductible. So even though you may be far from your deductible, you’ll still want to submit your medical claims to your insurance company in case benefits apply.

Take Advantage of Discounts

Let’s say you end up at the doctor before you meet your deductible. Even though your plan may not pay anything on your claim, you should submit it anyway. Why? Insurance plans negotiate discounted rates with providers. By submitting your claim, you can receive this discounted rate, which could save you hundreds of dollars.

Keep An Eye On Your EOBs

Whenever you submit a claim, your plan will send you an Explanation of Benefits (EOB). This document explains how the provider submitted the claim, the discounted amount you owe, and the amount applied to your deductible. The EOB might arrive in the mail, or it might be sent to you electronically.

Keep an eye on your EOBs to make sure the provider submitted the claim directly and the plan calculated your deductible correctly. If you have any questions, contact your provider or your plan right away. A small mistake early in the year could have a big impact on your benefits as the year progresses. 

We’re On Your Side

If you need help selecting an individual insurance plan for yourself or a group insurance plan for your employees, contact us.  We can help you understand the ins and outs of insurance all year long.