Healthy Living

Knowing the Right Time to Buy or Alter Your Health-Insurance Plan

Health insurance is a critical piece of coverage to have as you develop through life. As an adult, your bare minimum of care should involve yearly physicals with checkups during those unexpected sicknesses. Buying or changing your health-insurance innovations  of life’s evolution too. Compare your life to the coverage in your current policy so that you can cover all of your loved ones without fail.

Knowing the Right Time to Buy or Alter Your Health-Insurance Plan
Photo Source: Pixabay

Being Aware of Your Health

In today’s insurance world, many policies have bundles or sections that you can select or omit. Dental, vision and other bundles are under your discretion to choose when it’s necessary in life. You may have perfect eyesight in your 20s, but it will decline in time. Consider vision insurance for yourself as you enter the 30s and 40s. In most cases, you can add it on during your yearly enrollment period. Don’t wait until your eyesight is truly poor, however. Some of the new coverage may not apply to your situation with such bad eyesight.

Adding a Spouse

If you’re engaged to be married, discuss your health-insurance options well before the big day. Your spouse may have coverage from an employer along with your policy. These coverage amounts can actually complement each other by continuing to hold them through the marriage contract. If you find that one policy is much better than the other one, you can always cancel the inferior coverage. One spouse will simply need to add the other person onto their policy when the enrollment period comes around again.

Enjoying Pregnancy Care

A spouse who becomes pregnant will be covered under their current policy for most prenatal needs. Discuss any delivery concerns with your insurance provider, however. Depending on the circumstances, you may need extra coverage when the due date arrives. Certain professionals, such as Health Insurance Innovations, can give you guidance regarding the proper products. As soon as the baby is born, the child is immediately covered by the policy until you designate extra or alternative coverage.

Concerning Elderly Parents

When your parents grow older and enter their retirement ages, you may be tempted to add them to your insurance policy. Read the fine print on your policy, however. It’s a fact that most policies don’t cover dependents who aren’t your children. Look for potential coverage under “adult dependents.” Your insurance may have this choice as an add-on feature. Most seniors rely on government insurance and their personal policies to keep up with their health. It’s only in rare instances that you’ll need to cover any part of their care.

Stepchildren and Grandchildren Additions

Adding grandchildren onto your policy is different than basic dependents. In most cases, look for an insurance rider that’s defined as a “child only” policy. You’ll be able to cover the grandchild as long as you pay that particular premium set up during an enrollment period. Stepchildren, in contrast, are technically dependents when you’re married to the parent. They’ll be covered under your typical policy as if they were your biological children. Simply verify that every detail is accurate on your insurance before agreeing to the policy.

Speak with your insurance professionals, such as Health Insurance Innovations, whenever there’s any questions. Understanding your policy and the marketplace options will only help your family grow and thrive well into the senior years.

Giveaways, Healthy Living

Understanding Your Health Coverage Costs – $100 Amazon Giveaway

This is a sponsored post on behalf of UnitedHealthcare. All opinions remain my own

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You would think that the conversation about understanding your health coverage costs would be too heavy of a conversation. Where do you start to wrap your brain around costs within health care plans? Honestly, most plans are set up to make this as easy as possible for you. It takes the guesswork out of the resulting costs of care because you have other things to focus on.

My brother has 3 boys and when the oldest was a toddler he began having seizures. After many Dr and hospital visits turns out it was a pain response with him. He would get tummy aches and seize. The good news is he will grow out of it and he did. He is 10 and hasn’t had a seizure since preschool. However, my brother and SIL were very young and it broke my heart when 3 years later they filed bankruptcy just to get out of the mounting bills. They had an expensive ambulance bill, testings, blood work and many visits and overnight stays. They weren’t prepared and when you’re young and unexperienced you don’t know where to find solutions and avenues. It is important to not only be covered but to have a plan and know, in advance, all of the resources available in the moment of unexpected medical emergencies.

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You really need to focus on 3 things when it comes to saving money, in other words, spending as little as possible for services. First, you need to know your health plans network. These are approved Doctors, Hospitals, Clinics, Labs, Services and Specialties that you can use to spend less. If you choose to see or visit one outside of your plans network you will pay more. Second, you need to know if your plan allows you to see whomever and whenever or do you need referrals to see a specialist or have a procedure done? If you require referrals you need to communicate with your primary doctor on when that referral is approved so you are clear and covered to make that appointment. Your Doctor’s office is set up to alert you if you need a referral but make sure you are aware-better to be safe than sorry. Third, know alternative options to an office visit. Dr. office copays can be an unexpected out of pocket cost and in some plans a visit to an urgent care or ER costs even more. Does your health plan offer a nurse or health line? If so, they tend to be free to use and you can get minor questions answered and even get medications sent top a Pharmacy in some cases. This will save you a trip into a Dr. office as well as that copay.

UnitedHealthcare and myself really want to help you understand the costs associated with your health plan. Just head to the UnitedHealthcare Managing Health Care Costs Page and take a short learning quiz AND play a short matching game AND watch a short video to be entered to win several prizes. It is very quick and easy.

How to enter to win all prizes:

1. UnitedHealthcare has 3 engagements for March: Each engagement offers a $100 weekly prize winner and a $500 monthly winner. Lots of chances to win and it only takes seconds! You can enter each engagement daily.

  • Cost Quiz 123: Answer 3 quick quiz questions to see what you know
  • Look and Learn: Watch a short video (same as the one above) & submit
  • Perfect Match: Play a fun 8 card matching game

2. Parenting Healthy (that’s me) is offering a $100 Amazon gift card prize. To enter you just need to complete the 3 engagements above PLUS use the promo code: ParentingHealthy on the submit page where it asks you for a code. Plus I will have other entries including daily entries. ENTER ON WIDGET BELOW for my giveaway. Enter daily.

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Giveaways, Healthy Living

Learn How To Use Your Health Care Plan-Giveaway

This is a sponsored post on behalf of UnitedHealthcare. All opinions remain my own

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Did you renew or get a new health care plan recently? You probably have a thick booklet given to you that explains all of your benefits and the best way to use your plan that is sitting in a stack of papers somewhere on your desk like mine is.

In an emergency I feel like my health care provider and insurance will find a way to get things covered to the best and the rest would be out of my pocket. Would this cover be best? Maybe I should dig deeper into my plan? Have you done that?

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My family is relatively healthy. We do travel a lot and my youngest is very active in sports. The oldest carries his own insurance now and we still cover the middle boy who is a Freshman at College. There are risks and the potential with these boys and a husband who also travels for work for an emergency at anytime and anywhere and I do NOT understand my plan enough. I would not be confident I can use it to the full potential.

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Learn basic like your start date-it doesn’t always start on an obvious date and how to obtain cards to carry around. Also learn exactly how to choose a Doctor you can be sure participates with your plan. Know where all the FAQ answers are to certain questions.

The Giveaways (please read carefully):

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UnitedHealthcare and myself really want to help you learn how to use your healthcare plan. Just head to the UnitedHealthcare How To Use Your Health Care Plan Engagement Page and take a short learning quiz AND play a short matching game AND watch a short video to be entered to win several prizes.

The prize breakdown:

1. UnitedHealthcare has 3 engagements for February: Each engagement offers a $100 weekly prize winner and a $500 monthly winner. You can enter each engagement daily.

  • Health Facts 1 2 3: Answer 3 quick quiz questions to see what you know
  • Look and Learn: Watch a short video
  • Perfect Match: Play a fun 8 card matching game

2. Parenting Healthy (that’s me) is offering a $100 Target gift card prize. To enter you just need to complete the 3 engagements PLUS use the promo code: ParentingHealthy on the submit page where it asks you for a code. Plus I will have other entries including daily entries. ENTER ON WIDGET BELOW for my giveaway

*TIP: You can come back each day-complete the engagements again each day for daily entries on all of our prizes.

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Giveaways, Healthy Living

UnitedHealthcare Quick Care Quiz and $100 Amazon Giveaway

This is a sponsored post for UnitedHealthcare

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Did you have fun with my October and November UnitedHealthcare Are You a Health Plan Pro campaign? 2 of you won $100 prizes in my giveaways from that campaign. The December Quick Care Quiz will be very similar.

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Graphic courtesy of UnitedHealthcare

United Healthcare has been on a campaign for quite a while aimed at educating the public on healthcare choices and to learn some terminology and other important information you need to make the best healthcare decisions for you. Healthcare and Health Insurance are too intimidating topics and a tough choice at time and this is why UnitedHealthcare wants to help make it easier on you no matter your healthcare needs.

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For December they are doing a Quick Care Quiz that gives you an opportunity to win a $500 gift card, Furthermore, my readers have a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Here is how to enter my giveaway and then you will automatically be entered into the UHC page prize as well:

  • Visit the UnitedHealthcare Quick Care Quiz and take the short quiz, it will ask for a promo code so enter <<PARENTING>> and submit. It is fun and you’ll learn a thing or 2. Or you can do any of the other tasks, just make sure you use the promo code
  • Come back to this widget below and do your entries to be entered into the $100 Amazon gift card prize (you can take the quiz and come back for more entries each day of the giveaway)
  • Because you took the Quick Care Quiz and submitted you are also automatically entered into the UHC $500 gift card prizes
  • For extra entries in the UHC $500 gift card prizes on their site, also complete the Crossword and Health Plan Pro tasks daily
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Healthy Living

How to Save Money on Medicare—5 Tips

It’s that time of year, open enrollment season! And for any of you who don’t know what that is, from October 15 to December 7 those 65 and over can change their Medicare plans. Are you getting ready to do that? Or do you know of someone going through this process? Want to know some ways that will help you save on your insurance bill? Read on!

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Source: Pixabay
  1. Assess your health.

What you needed before may no longer apply. For example, perhaps you signed up to a certain Medicare Advantage plan because the closest hospital was included in its network. And you had some condition that required multiple visits. Now? You are better and you no longer need that kind of coverage. Instead, you need to visit a different specialist who isn’t covered in your old plan. See what’s going on here? Needs change over the course of a year. You should approach health insurance plans as you would when you shop around for anything else. There are specialists who will help you compare Medicare Advantage plans in your area so that you see exactly what you are getting.

  1. Figure out your total bill.

$100 a month may not seem like much when buying insurance. But don’t forget to read the fine print and ask the right questions. How much coverage does a $100 premium actually provide? Consider the state of your health and last year’s doctor’s bills. How much did you pay out of pocket? And how much was covered by your last insurance plan? Will this year be one where you take care of various medical issues? If so, calculate your projected bill and see if there’s an insurance plan that will help you cover most, if not all of it. But if you are in pretty good health, it stands to reason you will not need as much coverage.

  1. Compare drug costs.

The average premium in 2015 was $34. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services predicts the average will remain steady. But you can still save on this amount. Because Part D providers change the drugs covered within their plan year by year, look into the changes your current plan will undergo. Assess your future needs and see if these will be covered in whatever plan you are considering. Remember, generic drugs are cheaper than their branded equivalents, so look for plans that cover generics.

  1. Stay well.

The best money saver when it comes to health is to stay healthy. While age may feel like it’s conspiring against you here, exercise is one of the best ways to get a mountain of benefits packed into one activity. Make your exercise and a healthy diet priorities in your day. Focus your attention on these important aspects. And you will be going far to keep ailments, disease, and mental decline at bay.

  1. Choose from the network.

Of course, even when you are doing your part to live a healthy lifestyle, genes and other factors can conspire against you. When you do need to visit a medical provider, make sure to choose from your insurance network. Not all medical and health providers are covered by Medicare. So booking an appointment at that clinic only a block away could actually leave you with a hefty bill. Always check if a provider you are considering is covered in your Medicare plan. Go to Medicare.gov and do a search for the service you are looking for. This is the fastest way to see if you will be covered. If you are part of a Medicare Advantage plan, which is provided by a private insurance company, call them up. Or look at their website to determine what providers are covered in your plan.

Taking these few simple steps will keep more money in your pocket and protect you from unexpected costs down the road.

Car Talk, Home

Three Ways to Save on Car Repairs

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Image by Pixabay

For many families, car repairs are the budgetary Bermuda triangle where money mysteriously disappears. Car repairs have a way of being urgent and unavoidable, especially if you need to travel around the suburbs. Unfortunately, there is no way to plan in advance what repairs you will need, when you will need them, or how much they will cost you. In fact, the only thing you can be certain of is that something is going to break at the worst possible time. When these costs do arise, there are a few ways that you can make them easier to handle.
1. Invest in Preventative Maintenance
Cars are complex machines. Seemingly unimportant issues can quickly morph into huge problems if they are left unattended. If you want to stop small problems from escalating, then you should invest some effort into creating a schedule for having regular preventative maintenance performed on your vehicle.
For example, you should be able to recognize when you need to get your oil changed, when your serpentine and timing belts need to be replaced, and when your tires need to be rotated. While there will be costs associated with some of these tasks, they will be predictable and minimal compared to the costs you will incur if you neglect to have them performed.
2. Choose Pre-Qualified Providers
Everyone has at least one story about getting ripped off by a crooked mechanic. If you do not know much about cars, then you are basically at the mercy of the experts. Some mechanics capitalize on this situation by charging unfair rates for their services. Even if you do suspect that you are being taken for a ride, so to speak, there is usually not much you can do about it.
However, it is entirely possible to find honest mechanics if you know how to look for them. In fact, some local auto insurance providers take the job out of your hands by compiling databases of area repair shops that they consider to be trustworthy. The next time you need to take your car in to the shop, find out if your car insurance agency offers this type of assistance. If so, you will spend less time shopping around for good service, and you will end up feeling confident that you are paying a fair price for a job well done.
3. Do Your Own Repairs
One of the strongest cost drivers for car repairs is the price of labor. If you are already handy enough to have a well-stocked tool box, then you can save a great deal of money by doing certain repairs yourself. For example, if you change your own brake pads, you will go to bed that night over $250 richer than you would have if you had taken your car to a mechanic. YouTube videos are extremely useful tools for learning to make these fixes, but you can also consult your vehicle’s repair manual for help.
The Road to Savings
Car repairs are unavoidable, but it is possible to at least ease the financial blow that they bring with them. Take maintenance and repair matters into your own hands when you can. When you can’t, use whatever resources you have available to you to find honest service providers. Remember, in the end, the most important thing is that your family ends up with a safe vehicle to take from Point A to Point B.