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Adjusting to a New Health Insurance Network

November 9th, 2011 0 comments
Change

Are you switching health insurance policies?  This means that you’ll be adjusting to a new health insurance network.  While you might not be looking forward to new doctors and other changes, switching health insurance networks doesn’t have to be difficult.

Image by Matt Brown

Find Practitioners in Your New Network

Remember the process of comparing health insurance policies?  Well, when changing health insurance networks you’ll have doctors and other health practitioners to research.

You might get useful recommendations.  Feel free to ask family, friends, and others who they visit for their health care.  You may be able to get a recommendation from another doctor, such as your existing general practitioner.  Or you could try seeking recommendations via social media; you could ask people in the network area who know of the doctors that you are considering.

Of course, you can always do without recommendations – for example, you could look at what health care providers are closest to you and go from there.   It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Switching Doctors

Once you find the appropriate doctors or other practitioners for you, and for your family if you have one, you may need to talk to your previous doctors or practitioners to have them send over your medical file to the new office.  Alternatively, your new healthcare provider may ask you to complete forms to authorise the transfer of your medical information. The data transferred to your new doctor or other healthcare provider should include any x-rays and other documents relevant to you that your current providers hold.

When you visit the doctor, be prepared with any information they might need about your previous health care, such as address, telephone and fax numbers, date of last visit, business name, and current medications and treatment programs.  Of course, have your health insurance information ready along with any necessary paperwork (call your insurer to find out what you need) to ensure claims are filed accurately and promptly.

Learning About Your New Policy and Network

Spending time getting to know your policy may be a wise move.  For instance, what will the penalty be if you visit a practitioner that isn’t covered? Are you prepared for healthcare when you are away from your network? Do you know where the nearest covered locations are?

Review your new policy as a whole: what is and isn’t covered, along with the full slew of details, from deductibles to the best way to communicate with your insurer.  Sit down, relax, and enjoy learning about the new health insurance policy that you’ve purchased.

Switching your health insurance network can bring many changes.  And as this is no exhaustive list, feel free to take things further and learn more about how to make the most of your policy and its network.  Don’t ignore the value of your health insurance network – it’s there for you, hopefully where and when you need it.

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