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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 December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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