Importance of Understanding Health Insurance
Today’s post is by our friends at Triage Cancer. A nonprofit that helps cancer patients better understand the financial side of treatment. We hope this information helps you when you look at your health insurance options, should cancer become part of your health journey.
Health insurance is an important tool that can be used to protect both your health and your finances. Health insurance can grant you access to preventative health care such as screening for early detection of serious illnesses. Health insurance also protects you if you are ever diagnosed with a serious medical condition such as cancer.
In addition to having adequate health insurance, understanding what is covered, and how the policy works is one of the best ways to ease the possible financial fallout of any diagnosis.
Of course, health insurance is complex. Triage Cancer offers a number of free resources to help people navigate their health insurance options, rights, and benefits.
Navigating health insurance often involves learning new terms and concepts. To get an introduction to these key terms, watch our animated video, Health Insurance Basics: https://triagecancer.org/video-HealthInsuranceBasics.
You should consider your personal needs and the options available to you in your area when it comes to choosing a plan. For example, you might want to be sure to keep seeing your current doctor. Before selecting a plan, check to be sure that your doctor is included in the plan’s network of providers.
You can watch this animated video, Picking a Health Insurance Plan, to help you think through these options. https://triagecancer.org/video-pickingaplan.
Triage Cancer has several free resources to help you understand your various health insurance options, including the Quick Guide to Health Insurance Options: https://triagecancer.org/QuickGuide-HealthInsuranceOptions. Triage Cancer also has Quick Guides explaining Medicare, Medigap plans, COBRA, Medicaid Expansion, State Health Insurance Marketplace Exchanges, Employer-Sponsored and Individual Health Insurance, and more: https://triagecancer.org/resources/quickguides.
The webinar Avoiding Financial Toxicity offers a more detailed discussion of how to make sure to pick a health insurance plan that works for you: https://triagecancer.org/webinarreg-financialtoxicity.
Health insurance coverage for many key health care services, such as cancer screening, vary by state and federal law and by the type of insurance. To find information about laws in your state related to health insurance and other topics, visit: https://triagecancer.org/statelaws and https://triagecancer.org/resources/stateresources.
Once you have health insurance coverage, there are ways to make sure you get the most out of your plan. For example, understanding appeals can mean the difference between coverage or no coverage for certain claims, such as screening tests. In 2017, there were 41.9 million claims denied by insurance companies. But only .5% of those claims were appealed by customers through an insurance company’s internal appeals process. Those who don’t accept insurance denials, and file an appeal, actually win and get coverage for the care prescribed by their health care team up to 60% of the time! For more information, read the Quick Guide to Navigating Appeals: https://TriageCancer.org/QuickGuide-Appeals or watch our Understanding Appeals webinar: https://vimeo.com/254407221.
For breaking news updates on health insurance laws and legislation, and how they might affect you, and other timely issues such as COVID-19, be sure to check our blog: https://triagecancer.org/blog.
For more information on how to choose among your health insurance options and how to navigate your coverage, visit https://triagecancer.org/healthinsurance and www.CancerFinances.org.
Choosing, understanding, and maximizing health insurance can be a challenge, but Triage Cancer has ways to help you avoid that challenge!