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5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Health Policy

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Health Policy

Most employers don’t offer 100% free health insurance, which means that a portion of your income is going toward your healthcare plan every single month. If you’re in good health, you’re probably not using a majority of the health benefits you’re paying for. However, there still can be a lot of different benefits for you. All you have to do is a little bit of research to help you learn more about your plan. Here are five ways to make the most of your health coverage so that you feel like you’re getting something in return.

1. Find out what freebies are offered

Since you’re paying for your health insurance, nothing is truly “free,” but there are likely perks that you won’t have to pay extra for. Many preventative healthcare services, like screenings and tests, are available thanks to the Affordable Care Act. There are additional freebies for women and children as well. Be sure to ask about any freebies that your business may have to offer. You may never know about it if you never ask.

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2. Ask for a price cut

If you have a plan with a high-deductible, you may be able to get a break when you visit your dentist or doctor. If you pay with cash, some offices will take a bit off the price; just make sure to let them know that you have a high-deductible plan. If they can’t reduce the price for you, ask if they’re able to put you on an installment payment plan.

3. Don’t over-spend on medications

When your doctor is prescribing you a medication, find out if there’s a generic (i.e. cheaper) version that you can take instead. If there is, hunt around for the pharmacy that offers the lowest prices on generic medications. This way you can still get the medication you need without spending too much. You may even want to ask your pharmacist about good medications for you that fit within your budget.

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4. Add on a health savings account

Some health plans come with the option of adding a health savings account. This means that you can create a savings account with non-taxable money. You’ll earn interest on the money that remains in the account and the savings account total will roll over every year. Sometimes, employers even contribute a certain percentage of what you contribute to your health savings account. This is a great way to have money set aside, specifically for healthcare and medical bills. It is really nice to have some money set aside for things like this that doesn’t have to come directly out of your checking account.

5. Price-shop for the right hospital

If you have to have a procedure done, don’t assume that all hospital price tags are created equal. Compare hospital prices by calling them up, telling them what you have to get done and giving them the name of your insurance provider. There are even some online tools that let you compare prices from several hospitals depending on their health management programs and expertise. Taking the time to do some research can really help save you money in the long run. You may even want to take time to tour different hospitals to find your ideal place for medical care.

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Whether you have a high-deductible insurance plan or you just want to make the most of your affordable health care plan, there are ways to maximize on its perks. Take advantage of what you’re paying for by figuring out freebies, asking for price cuts and saving on medications. Find reliable caretakers that can meet your health needs at a price range that fits your financial expenses.

Featured photo credit: Crew via unsplash.com

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Kara Masterson

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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