Navigating insurance can feel like completing a maze. I want to empower you today to take steps confidently by equipping you to ask three clarifying questions regardless of the insurance plan you have. We will discuss a starting point, what benefits you really have, and how much will it cost.
The first step once your insurance is active is to find out which providers are linked with your plan. This can be done online, or if you have a tangible card, locate the Members Services number typically on the back. Call this number, or visit their website to find out clinicians that are paneled with your insurance. Your choices could include in-network providers or out-of-network providers. The difference between these two is how much the insurance will pay toward the total amount of the claim.
The next step is to find out details specific to your insurance plan. NOT ALL INSURANCE PLANS PROVIDE THE SAME COVERAGE. Call the Members Services and ask specific questions like “Does my plan cover mental health benefits?” and “Are there a specific quantity of sessions covered before I would need a referral?” Asking questions like these may seem silly, but navigating with a map before your appointment is helpful.
Finally, my third recommendation to navigating insurance is to ask, “What out-of-pocket expense should I expect?”. Finances should not be a barrier, but unfortunately, we see this more than we would like. Having the knowledge of what you should expect to pay out of pocket before you begin should alleviate being blindsided and potentially having to retrace your steps and look for a new provider- not to mention being out of hard-earned money.
Today we reviewed questions you want to ask your insurance company. When you answer these three questions you will have more knowledge and confidence to take the next right step.