How to Navigate Insurance Like a Pro
By Sarah Watts
Health care is crucial for most people but it becomes even more important when you have a chronic illness, such as Parkinson’s disease. Follow these tips to help avoid insurance issues.
Know your policy. If you have a chronic condition, you’re filing claims with your insurance company often, whether it’s for prescription drugs, regular doctor visits, or long-term care. Therefore, it’s crucial to know your policy inside and out: What is your co-pay for medications? What is your deductible? Does your policy cover in-home nursing, or might you need a referral to see certain specialists? The customer support number on your insurance card can refer you to someone who can help answer your questions.
Stay organized. Sometimes insurance can be tricky, and you might find yourself billed twice when you have already paid an invoice, or denied for a claim you were sure had been approved. Keeping your records organized will save you a lot of hassle. Create separate files for paid bills, referrals, and any other important documents from your insurance or doctor’s office. If there’s a discrepancy, you’ll be able to find what you need quickly.
Take names. Navigating your healthcare policy can sometimes mean speaking to several different people: customer service representatives, doctors, nurses, or accountants. For your convenience, keep a list of people you’ve talked to, including their names and job titles, plus why you contacted them.
Consider hiring an advocate. It may be worthwhile to hire a medical billing advocate, someone who can negotiate with your insurance company on your behalf. This can save valuable time and restore some peace of mind.
Originally printed in MoreThanMotion, Spring 2018.