Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thrifty Tip Thursday: Understand Your Insurance Benefits

We had a busy day here at the Little Blue Bungalow and spent some "valuable" time receiving some routine, but valuable health care. Mr. Keegan had his first dental appointment today (SO darn cute! I wish I had thought to bring my camera as Big sister Fiona assisted his appointment.) as well as his two year old well-baby check-up at our local clinic.

Today we scored addition to receiving top notch routine care at his appointments Keegan got a new toothbrush, tooth paste, small prize (a rubber duckie if you must know), immunizations, stickers, flu shots (me too..., but not Fiona...too much here.)

Our total cost today...$0.

After working in the dental industry as a Financial Coordinator for three years before taking on my role as SAHM (Stay at Home Mommy), I know how beneficial it can be utilizing and understanding your insurance benefits. So many times, I witnessed first-hand how patients didn't understand or utilize their benefits to their advantage. Did you know.. that most dental insurances have a yearly maximum...meaning they will pay out only so much for each patient each year? So instead of maxing your benefits out if you require a lot of work you could spread it over two years...appointments in November 2008 and January 2009.

Instead of taking advantage of the two free teeth cleanings, exam, and x-rays their particular dental insurance provided patients with amazing benefits skipped the dentist all together. Is that you? Unfortunately, many times they avoided a "small" problem and let it progress to a "major" problem requiring costly root canals, crowns, or removal. What a shame! If they would have done the free "maintenance" checks they'd continue on relatively healthy and saved themselves tons of money in the process.

Do you know your benefits? Have you ever read your insurance benefit book for medical and dental? Seriously folks. READ THEM! Employers want you at work and not sick. (Ah. Hum. This is part of the reason they provide them, ya know?) I know not everybody LOVES going to the dentist for their teeth cleaning or particularly standing on the scale for their yearly physical (if you do...I want to talk to are strange to me), but you are MISSING OUT on a benefit...your life, YOUR HEALTH.

What costs will you incur if you don't take the small effort to take care of your health? Honestly, no one can answer that one, but yourself.

I know if I hadn't taken the time to read my medical booklet last year I wouldn't have gotten an eye check-up (which I desperately needed!) because we didn't have much "wiggle" room in our budget. Instead, I found out I had a benefit to have my eyes examined once a year for FREE. My insurance also provided a $250 benefit towards the purchase of new eye glasses or contacts at an approved facility. (A huge savings for my family and knowing this I could adequately prepare and budget money for glasses.)

Obviously, my family plays a premium each month to receive these benefits, but at a such a small fraction of what it would cost me to pay for private insurance. Take advantage of your medical and dental benefits...drag your books tonight for a little late night reading. (You may get a look or two from your spouse or room mate, but you'll pocket book will thank you!

For another great tip on turning your yard waste to "black gold" make sure to read Traci's Thrifty Tip.

From inside the little blue bungalow,
Katie Jean
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