Be a Wise Healthcare Consumer
From Alliant Employee Benefits
Nearly half of American adults say it’s difficult to afford healthcare, even if they have insurance. The good news: Laws increasing price transparency and consumer protections in healthcare are making it easier than ever to shop around for higher-quality care at lower prices.
- Know your insurance: Make sure you understand what your insurance does and doesn’t cover, and what your share of costs will be. When your plan renews, make sure you understand any changes so you can switch to a different plan if your current insurance doesn’t meet your needs. Depending on your health, the plan with the lowest premium isn’t always the lowest-cost plan overall, so be sure to compare your options every time you have an enrollment opportunity.
- Get preventive care: Insurance typically covers 100% of costs for in-network preventive care. Discovering health conditions early on may reduce the overall cost of treatment (and lead to better outcomes).
- Shop around: Whether you’re choosing a doctor or figuring out where to have a procedure done, you can shop around to find the best price and learn who provides the best care. If you take prescription drugs, ask your doctor if there’s a generic version available that will meet your needs—generic drugs are usually cheaper than brand-name.
- Review bills and EOBs: Compare your medical bills with your insurance explanations of benefits (EOBs) to make sure there are no discrepancies. If there are, call your insurance to find out what’s going on. Sometimes there’s just a billing error that can easily be fixed.
- Take care of yourself: As always, good self-care can reduce your health care costs by helping you stay in the best health possible. That means eating nutritious foods, getting enough daily movement, getting adequate sleep, and managing stress. Don’t forget that your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and that good self-care can help you manage both.
Remember: Being a wise healthcare consumer isn’t just about managing costs. It can also help you get the care you need, when you need it, from high-quality providers. Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself!
Things to Note for 2024
- Deductible and out-of-pocket maximum accumulators for all plans reset effective January 1, 2024.
- Non-HSA/MEC plan enrollees are eligible for 4th quarter carryover of claims incurred between October - December 2023 and applied to the deductible, only. Deductible accumulator balances reflect carryover.
- Hinge Health and Vida are no longer available to members enrolled in an HSA/MEC plan.
- The Health and Wellness Centers have resumed the collection of copayments at the time of service.
- Non-HSA/MEC Plans: The office visit copay remains $0 for members enrolled in a non-HSA/MEC plan. The copay for medications dispensed from the HWC has increased to $5 for generic and $10 for brand-name.
- HSA/MEC Plans: The office visit copay remains $25 for members enrolled in an HSA/MEC plan. The copay for medications dispensed during an office visit is $0. Medications dispensed outside of an office visit will be $5 for generic and $10 for brand-name.
- Annual maximums and frequency limitations have reset effective January 1, 2024.
- The Incentive Percentage for members who used the dental plan in calendar year 2023, and are not already at 100%, has increased by 10%. Applicable to plans 8, 10, and 12.