Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The nitty gritty details of health insurance

I absolutely hate health insurance, for two main reasons: 1) Too many people die each year at the hands of this for-profit industry, and 2) its frickin' impossible to understand anything regarding your health insurance plan when you sign up for it. I don't know anyone who says "Yes, I know what my insurance covers and what I will be paying for."

I had to get an eye exam this past week so I could get my contact lens prescription renewed, however, I had chosen not to elect a vision plan when I signed up for health insurance earlier this year. So I figure, "crap, I am going to end up paying $100 for an eye exam so I can buy expensive contact lenses." For the hell of it, I decided to check my health plan online. I am currently with United Health Care, and although I pretty much hate all health insurance companies, United does an extremely good job at providing information regarding your personal health care plan online, which is much easier to understand then the paper work you sign from the beginning. So come to find out, even though I did not elect a vision plan, my plan still allows a yearly eye exam, saving me $70. I still had to pay for a contact lens fitting, but the savings are well worth the look into the plan. You pay A LOT of money for health care, so be sure you know what your plan offers you.

Another great aspect of my health insurance's website is they offer a cost estimator - what you would be paying out of pocket - for certain conditions or like having a baby, as well as a lookup of doctors and hospitals that are participating in-network providers, which also can save you money and numerous phone calls. Be sure to check out if your health insurance website for guidelines on who to see and planning accordingly. For all of my readers who do not live in America, my envy is with you :)

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