Strictly Business – December 2020

‘Tis the season for holiday greetings and good cheer. It’s also a great time to consider the following as it relates to your health insurance and prescriptions. Some important tips:

  • It’s a smart idea to refill all your prescriptions in late December. Pharmacies are swamped in January as they process all the new insurance information for their clients.
  • Take some time to check your Health Savings Account. If you have not contributed the maximum amount for 2020, you can still add dollars to your account until your tax filing deadline. The 2020 maximum contribution is $3,550 single / $7,100 family. And, don’t forget the extra $1,000 contribution that is allowed for anyone 55 or older.
  • Need to change pharmacies in 2021 because your insurance has a different “preferred” pharmacy? This is easy! Simply provide the new pharmacy with a list of your prescriptions (including the prescription number and what pharmacy you have been using.) Tip: Just take in your prescription bottles – all of the information is on the label. The new pharmacy can handle it from there.

Health insurance companies use a lot of acronyms. A few you have probably come across are HMO, PPO and EPO. If you have a policy that offers one of these networks, it is important to understand what medical providers you can use and where you can access care. Health plans are set up with a specific “service area” in which they operate.

  • HMO | Primary care provider coordinates healthcare: This type of health plan offers a local network of doctors and hospitals from which you can choose. It typically requires that you select a primary care provider to coordinate your health care. May require a referral to see a specialist. There are no out-of-network benefits if you use a doctor or hospital that is not in the network; except when it is an emergency.
  • PPO | Larger area of in-network providers: This type of health plan offers a larger network, so you have more doctors and hospitals from which you can choose. It also means that your plan provides both in-network and out-of-network benefits and the geographic area where you can find in-network providers is larger.
  • EPO | No referral needed for in-network provider: This type of health plan offers a local network of doctors and hospitals from which you can choose. You are not required to select a primary care provider and no referrals are needed to see any provider that is in the network. When you leave the service area, your coverage is limited to emergency or urgent care needs.

ComPro wishes you a healthy and blessed Holiday season!

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