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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

How To Maximize Use Of A PPO Health Insurance Policy


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The following guidelines can help maximize use of a PPO type health insurance policy. For information about each guideline, see the other sections of this article:

  • Keep your i.d. card with you in your wallet or purse.
  • Use in network doctors and other health care providers as much as possible.
  • If you want to use out of net work doctors and other health care providers, learn how to minimize the amount you have to pay.
  • Make sure you don't inadvertenly use out of network providers. For example, If you agree to surgery, make sure all members of the surgical team are part of your provider's network.
  • If your insurer has a case manager who helps coordinate care, consider him or her a resource for information and guidance. Try to make friends.

  • Keep track of out-of-pocket medical expenses.
  • Avoid paying money in excess of Usual, Customary and Reasonable.
  • Be an informed consumer when purchasing drugs, tests or treatments.
  • Stay on top of insurance company reimbursements.
  • If you have a choice, balance premiums, deductibles, co-insurance, stop loss, lifetime maximum and benefits.
  • Examine discounts for healthy living.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • If you need an experimental treatment, work with your doctor. You may be able to get it covered by the insurance company.
  • Don't accept a "no" from the insurance company. Appeal. Appeal. Appeal.
  • Choose doctors and specialists with care. Learn how to maximize limited time with them.
  • If your plan has mental health benefits, take advantage of the benefit. You don't have to continue if it isn't helpful.
  • Learn how to keep your doctor if you change plans.
  • Keep in mind that insurance policies are not set in stone. You can negotiate benefits - particularly if you can show what you need will save the insurance company money.

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