Are you making the most of your health plan? As the sole carrier of benefits for our family, health insurance is something I pay a lot of attention to. Take today, for example: Levi got his first bee sting while at daycare. Actually, his first two, and they were on his face.
We have a family history of bee sting allergies, so I had already spoken with our pediatrician about what we should do if and when Levi was stung. Even though my daycare provider had reported that Levi had a normal sting reaction so far, I immediately called the nurse triage line to double check which symptoms I should be watching for.
Let me just say that the staff at Allina Medical Clinic is TOP NOTCH. Molly, one of their RN’s, took my call and went through the emergency protocol with me, including which symptoms were considered normal and which would indicate an emergency situation. As soon as I mentioned this happened at daycare, she offered to call my provider to go over the protocol with her, too. How awesome is that? (She totally did, and my daycare lady had questions I hadn’t even thought of, like whether or not it was ok to put Levi down for his regular nap or if he needed to be kept awake for monitoring.)
Back to how this relates to my health plan – many clinics and insurance companies offer nurse triage lines like the one I called today free of charge. I call mine whenever I have a question about whether or not an illness is something Levi needs to be seen for or if it’s something I can just keep an eye on at home. The reassurance of having trained medical staff answer my questions is priceless.
Because I’m familiar with my company’s health insurance policy, I also understand what kinds of costs I can expect if they recommend a clinic visit or a trip to the emergency room ($30 copay vs $100 copay). If I need more specific cost estimates for particular procedures, I can call the insurance company or my clinic. Many companies offer tips for making the most of your health plan so you can maximize your benefits while limiting your out of pocket costs.
The cool folks over at Cigna recently discussed ways to limit your expenses in the cases of non-emergency medical situations like Levi’s bee stings turned out to be for us.
I know with raising Levi, there are bound to be more emergency situations or scares in my future. But being prepared helps me know I can handle them when they happen.
Have you had an emergency with your child recently?
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Cigna. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.