How to maximize your health care plans

INDIANAPOLIS—Now that 2023 officially kicks off, many Hoosers are now dealing with a renewed (or new) set of health insurance benefits.

These new plans may bring with them a host of new options, exemptions, and possibly even restrictions. And navigating through them can be tricky.

One of the big challenges people face each year is how to get the most out of insurance benefits while keeping costs low. Saving money can be difficult, as the costs of healthcare are constantly rising. But Hancock Health officials say you can do some things that can help.

Hancock Health President and CEO Steve Long said the first key to reducing costs is to eliminate or minimize the need to engage with the healthcare system in the first place. He said habits such as healthy eating, exercise, limiting alcohol and smoking can help with this goal.

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But Long said it’s important to remember that preventive care and emergency care have two very different costs when engaging with the healthcare industry. Especially when it comes to what you can pay out of pocket.

“When you go to your primary care doctor, they will look at your history. “There’s a lot of stuff in our history that can really inform the doctor so they can tell you there’s something you need to know here,” Long said. “It might be something someone else doesn’t need to worry about, but there’s a family history there. They can look at your situation and tell you the warning signs I see here and give you the roadmap to get you on the path to better health.

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Another tip for minimizing health costs is to shop, Long said. Just like clothing, goods or food, the price of healthcare varies depending on where you go.

He added that it’s important to research the costs of treatments or procedures, ask questions, and compare prices with different healthcare groups or facilities. Adding that you can save a lot of money in the process.

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“The information is out there.

Long says it’s also important to know your insurance plan and stay up to date with changes. Plans, networks and exemptions can change frequently, Long says it’s important to be aware of these changes before entering a hospital or healthcare facility.

“The information is out there. People should know their insurance, know which in-network providers are covered by their insurance, and go out and see what the pricing is,” he said.

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