1. Decide on the best
The health benefit plans are in plenty. Do a quick search on which one your employer offers. Analyze your requirements and preferences. Take the help of your employer’s health plan administrator, human resource office in providing in-depth details on each plan and choose the best plan that matches with your preferences.
2. Review the Available Benefits
Do a thorough review of the benefits available. Evaluate whether the plans cover vision care, dental care, well-baby care etc…Never go for the cheapest plans always choose the best that takes care of yours and your family needs.
3. Update Yourself
Update yourself by reading the Summary Plan Description (SPD) that is being provided by the health plan administrator. SPD details the advantages and legal rights under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA. Preserve the SPD and all relevant health plan brochures and documents relating to health benefits.
4. Be alerted when your family status changes
Marriage, childbirth or adoption, divorce or the death of a spouse are life events that could signal a need to alter your health benefits.
5. Be aware on what could affect your health benefits
If you are covered under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) then you, your spouse and your dependent children may be qualified to purchase extension health coverage. To qualify for extension coverage any qualified event like you lose your job, change employers, or divorced must take place.
6. Consider HIPAA on changing jobs
HIPAA limits preexisting condition exclusions upto a period of 12 months (18 months for late enrollees). HIPAA also requires this period to be lessened by the length of time you had prior creditable coverage. You must receive a certificate documenting your earlier creditable coverage from your old plan when the coverage ends.
7. Eye for wellness programs
Wellness programs keep tab on the health of the beneficiary. Presently more and more employers are ascertained on wellness programs that encourage employees to work out, quit smoking, and adopt healthier lifestyles. HIPAA motivates group health plans to take up wellness programs along with protections for employees and their dependents from impermissible discrimination based on a health factor. These programs often supply rewards such as cost savings as well as promoting excellent health.
8. Plan your retirement
Way before you retire from your employment, find out what are the health benefits extended to you and your spouse during your retirement days. Clarify all the plan details with your employer's human resources office, your union or the plan administrator, and thoroughly check your SPD. Ensure there aren’t any conflicting information among these sources about the benefits you will gain or the situations under which they can amend or be eliminated.
9. Learn to File an Appeal
Identify how your plan deals with grievances and where to make appeals on the plan’s decisions. Maintain all the records and copies of each correspondence. Go through your health benefits plan and your Summary Plan Description to learn whom to contact for handling problems with benefit claims.
10. Take required actions to improve
Take into consideration, the quality of health care in deciding before deciding on the options available to you. Though the quality of health care services varies it could be measured. Eye for reports containing consumer ratings along with clinical performance measures, and check whether accredited organizations meet the required standards.