When was the last time that you read your health insurance policy, and I mean, really sat down and read it cover to cover? I happened to read the changes section to our policy and found they had added some new benefits this year.

I found that our insurance company will reimburse us for many of the activities that we currently participate in. In addition, I found some others that we can do for free or very little because our policy will pay for all or almost all of the cost. Here’s a summary of the new benefits and some of the old ones that are worth taking advantage of.

exercise

Health Insurance Benefits to Save You Money

  1. Healthy food. Some of the plans now reimburse for the cost of buying fruit and vegetables through CSAs. Wow! What better than to get money back on groceries?
  2. Recreational activities. We get reimbursed for community involvement for each person in the family. We got $100 back on my son’s swimming lessons. In addition, it will cover any activities that get you moving… softball leagues, family sports teams, and run/walks come to mind.
  3. Frequent teeth cleaning. Our plan now covers four dental cleanings a year instead of two. I love having my teeth cleaned, so I’m now going every three months.
  4. Weight loss and smoking cessation programs. These have been around for awhile, but they are important for your health. And if you are taking part anyways, why not have your insurance policy pick up the cost?
  5. Fitness programs. Our HMO is now offering fitness classes at our clinic and hospital. The classes are convenient and inexpensive. I plan to look into the fall list and try some out if it fits into my new schedule.
  6. Educational programs. In addition to the fitness programs, they are offering a range of educational classes focused on many topics including healthy living, parenting, and support groups.
  7. Unusual claim submission process. Our policy will actually consider covering a procedure or treatment that is not normally covered, if it will save the insurance company money in the long run. You must have a doctor submit the claim, but it proved worthwhile the one time we used it.

Some might argue that using the plan more frequently, for example going to the dentist four times a year instead of two will raise premiums, however, I would argue that preventative measures are far cheaper in the the long run.

Even though these are specific to my health insurance company, the current trend for health insurers is to find ways to keep down the continual increase of premiums. One way they are handling it is to encourage healthy living and preventative care. Check with your insurer to see what they are doing and you might find some savings in the small print.

Why is it Sneaky?

Many of these seem like routine programs. However, you’ll often find that the insurance companies are not advertising them. Some of our programs were added years ago, but we never found out about it. You have to read your policy to find them!

What programs has your health insurance company added recently?

More on health and money:

Photo: A way to a healthy life by Abdullah AL-Naser (Abraaj)






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Comments to 7 Sneaky Ways Your Health Insurance Can Save You Money

  1. My insurance gives money back on gym memberships if you provide them with proof that you attended a certain amount of times in six months. Usually you just need a signature from an employee. I’ve heard this could also be used from something like a martial arts class. There’s also discounts on yoga and massages through places associated with the insurance provider.

    FFB

  2. Our insurance gives us a small reimbursement for taking health assessments and surveys once or twice a year. It’s not life changing money ($25-50), but every little bit helps. :)

    Patrick

  3. Great tips! I am going to scour my insurance company’s website for things like this.

    Another Personal Finance Blog

  4. After a period of not being covered, I’m just happy to know that I’ll be okay in case of an emergency. It’s clearly time to look closer, though.

    I don’t have any statistics to back this up, but like you, I’d imagine that the folks using preventative care have far less sway on premiums than those who need dramatic work due to a lack of routine maintenance.

    Sara at On Simplicity

  5. As always, thanks for the helpful insights!

    Frugal Parent

  6. As an insurance agent, I can say that most of these programs work for sure! I personally havent’t seen the first two options working but I know for a fact that the last 5 work. In fact, I tell all my clients about the weight loss and smoking cessation whenever they buy health insurance from me. Thanks for getting the word out.

    Health Quote Spot

  7. Having your teeth cleaned more than absolutely necessary can actually erode your enamel and increase the occurrence of cavities. At this point most reliable DDS recommend a dental cleaning only once per year (sometimes more sometimes less, depending on other health factors). Also it’s worth it to find an office that uses newer/higher tech water cleaning techniques that decrease enamel erosion.
    Of course I don’t know about your personal medical history, so just an FYI to consider.

    Dent Tech


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