Get To Know Your Health PlanMany of us changed health insurance plans this year. Whether you renewed existing coverage or changed to a new plan, you probably received a big packet of coverage information. Before you throw it out, here is what you need to know.

Some of the plans sent out a “quick start” guide. This is an excellent resource for getting to know the basics of using your new plan. If the insurer has an app, the instructions for downloading and signing up for the app will be in that guide. At a minimum, make sure you sign up for the insurer’s website, giving you access to cost estimates, explanation of benefits, and a searchable provider directory. Reaching your insurer’s customer service by phone is getting harder and harder. Online access when you need it is a great time saver.

You also may have received a full description of benefits. The first few pages of this will detail your essential benefits, such as total deductible, maximum out of pocket costs, typical co-pays for most common services and drug coverage co-pays for each tier.

Once you have reviewed the plan, signed up for online access, downloaded the app, find a handy place to keep these documents on hand. It might save you time and money when it comes to using your health plan.