It’s an unfortunate fact that many important procedures and treatments aren’t covered by health insurance. However, you can still find ways to manage the costs involved in meeting your health care needs, even if your insurance company is disagreeable. Here is important advice when you’re juggling your money and your health.
What they are
There is a wide variety of viable procedures and treatments health insurances won’t cover even if they improve health and wellness. They go by many names: complementary approaches, alternative medicine, and holistic treatments are just a few. Behavioral therapies, acupuncture, health supplements, massage therapy, and chiropractors are all among those treatments and services that fall under those titles. However, according to some studies, a third of Americans rely on those treatments and services to improve their quality of life.
If your health insurance company denies coverage, Wall Street Journal suggests first pursuing payment with your insurance company. Even if your provider rubber stamped it “no,” sometimes you can receive coverage if you navigate the right channels. All insurances offer an appeal process.
If your physician notes a procedure is necessary, you may be able to get coverage, even for a treatment not normally covered under your policy. It’s also helpful to seek pre-approval for treatments and to find out what health providers may be covered in your network. You may have success by seeking the alternative treatment with an in-network provider who offers other medical services your insurance typically does approve.
Ask lots of questions throughout the process, as there may be limitations even if you are approved, such as how many visits will be covered. If your provider denies you coverage, you may be able to receive assistance through an organization such as the Patient Advocate Foundation.
The next avenue for potential payment is a health savings account. The IRS allows you to pay for therapies such as acupuncture, addiction treatment, and chiropractic services through your health savings account tax-free disbursements. For particulars on coverage, you should discuss your options with your financial advisor or tax preparation professional.
Sometimes, you can get help paying for treatments and procedures through national advocacy groups. For instance, if your therapy relates to cancer treatment, one recommendation is to seek assistance through the American Cancer Society or CancerCare.org.
Another option is to negotiate your financial obligation to the treatment provider with that provider. Oftentimes health care professionals will set up payment plans or give discounts to those paying out-of-pocket. You will need to pursue this directly with the medical office providing the procedure or treatment.
Get the treatment you need
Lack of health insurance coverage doesn’t mean you need to give up required procedures or therapies. If you are receiving help from a non-covered treatment, there are ways of fulfilling your financial obligation. Use alternative resources so you can receive care and pursue a better quality of life, even if your insurance plan isn’t supportive.
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