Health insurance is important to have but not always easy to understand. Take some time to find out what your insurance will pay for and learn how to use your coverage. Coverage is important when you are sick, but it can also help you stay healthy.
- Be on time with your insurance premium payments! You should receive a bill from your insurance company within 10 days of signing up for health insurance. To keep your insurance coverage, pay your premium on-time every month. If you don’t receive a bill from your insurance company, call the insurance company’s customer service number and ask about the bill.
- Receive your health insurance card. After you are enrolled in a health plan and pay your first premium, you will either receive by mail an insurance card for everyone covered on the plan, or an e-mail will direct you to your health plan’s website to download and print the cards. Your health insurance card is proof of your insurance. Review your insurance card for accuracy and contact the insurance company if you notice any errors. You will need your insurance card when you visit your doctor and if you call your insurance company to ask questions. View this sample insurance card: insurance_card_guide2.pdf
- Review the summary plan description and drug formulary. Avoid unexpected costs and make sure that you get the care you need by understanding what health care services and prescription drugs your health plan covers — before you receive care.
- Learn which providers are covered by your health plan. Review your plan information, visit your insurance company’s website, or call your insurance company to see if the health care provider that you use on a regular basis is in your network. Knowing which health providers are in network and out of network can make a big impact on how much you are responsible for paying. With the exception of emergencies, it’s important for you to know this information before you receive care.
- Choose your primary health care providers and facilities. If you don’t have a primary health care provider or facility that you use on a regular basis, or if the provider that you use isn’t in-network, you need to select a primary care provider. You may select a provider by visiting a facility’s website and reading a provider’s biography, or getting referrals from friends, family, and co-workers. Websites like NHHealthCost.org, which show cost and quality information, may help you make a decision about where to receive care.