I don’t know about the rest of you Moms and Dads out there, but when the kiddos are screaming, the phone is ringing, and the dogs are barking in the background, I find it pretty difficult to think most of the time and process information in a logical way. So when it comes to making important decisions about things like medical benefits, I need to make sure that the information is readily available to me, and that it is easy to process the information in a limited amount of time.
And since medical care isn’t free, (Unfortunately my son is not a real Doctor) I want to make sure that we make selections that are right for our family’s budget.
Aetna and TwitterMoms have team up to have Mom bloggers like myself compile a list of five tips to make benefit planning simpler.*
First, make a list of what benefits are important to you and your family. Do you need a good prescription plan? Are you planning on having a baby in the near future? Do you anticipate numerous doctors visits or procedures visits in the next year ? These are things that will determine what type of coverage you will need in the upcoming period.
Second, determine how much you can afford on a monthly basis for insurance costs. Make a budget of all your monthly expenses and figure out how much extra income you have at the end of the month. How much of this can be applied to insurance? If money is tight, are there any expenses that can be reduced? This will be something you will need to do before you make any changes to your current policy or add a policy.
Third, take a look at last year’s medical expenses, and try to anticipate what expenses you may be incurring in the next year. Do you anticipate a lot of medical bills? Would a flexible spending account be something that you might benefit from? To learn more about flexible spending accounts visit The Power Of An Hour – Planning Next Years Health Benefits in 60 minutes or Less
Fourth, once you have figured out what benefits you need and what costs you can handle, take a look at the plans available to you through your employer or independent agent. Look to see who can provide those benefits at the cheaper price, plus if you prefer a certain hospital or doctor, make sure that they accept that insurance and the plan you are going to sign up for.
Fifth, if in doubt, ask to speak with a representative of the company providing the benefits, or to your human resources department. It is better to ask questions than to realize after the fact that you are under-insured or are having to pay more out of pocket expenses than you had anticipated.
For additional assistance on Benefit Planning, check out Aetna’s Site Be Smart For Your Health The Power of an Hour – Planning Next Years Health Benefits in 60 minutes or Less
I hope you find these tips helpful, and if you have any additional ideas that would help the busy moms and dads our there, I would love it if you would share.
*“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Aetna blogging program, making me eligible to get a $30 Target gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here. These tips do not take the place of professional advice, always consider talking to an insurance agent or someone in your human resources department.”