With the exception of residents of a few states, you now have to have health insurance. If you’re paying for it anyways, make sure you’re getting the most for your money. Here are five things you didn’t know your health insurance covered. Plans and coverages vary, but it’s worth investigating to find out.
1. Diapers for your child who is 3+.
Having a child over age three who is not potty trained can be taxing, both emotionally and fiscally. If your child has a disability or learning delay, you could get your diapers for free. Medicaid covers it, and if your child falls into one of those categories odds are you already have some version of medicaid. When I say disability I of course mean things along the lines of children with Autism or Down’s Syndrome, but “learning delays” is a much broader term. Perhaps your child has delays with fine or gross motor skills, or they aren’t talking or communicating at a level that is “normal” yet. Both of these things can lead to serious problems with getting your kiddo on the potty every time. Talk to your doctor at your child’s three year check up, and ask them to write a prescription. Even if you don’t have medicaid, some private insurers offer this same benefit.
2. Gym Memberships.
Your health insurer wants you to be healthy. Healthy people don’t file as many claims. And the less claims insurers have to pay out, the more money they can keep in their pockets. As a result, many insurers cover gym memberships in one way or another. Some work with specific gyms to give you a discount or even a free membership, while others will offer your a set amount in reimbursement. Call your insurer to see what their policy is. It just might be worth switching gyms!
Are you in desperate need of a massage? Well, you may be able to get that covered, too. Especially if you have chronic back pain, were in an accident, or see a chiropractor/physical therapist regularly. Even if you weren’t, talk to your physician about your pain. If you can get a prescription from any of these medical specialists, insurers will often cover it.
4. Hot Tubs.
WHAAAAAAAT?!?! I know. Here’s the thing: you have to have an actual medical need for it. Like injury. Spine problems. Etc. But if you do, asking your doctor if s/he thinks hot tub therapy would help certainly doesn’t hurt. If they do think it would be beneficial to your situation, make sure they write a script. From there, call your insurance company. If you’ve got the Rx, and your policy doesn’t specifically state that a hot tub isn’t covered, it should be a qualifying piece of medical equipment, which 9 times out of 10 is covered. If it’s not, and you still really want that hot tub and can afford it, take the prescription with you when you go buy it. That will eliminate the sales tax. And if insurance doesn’t pay for it, it’s tax deductible as a medical expense. So is the electric you’ll use to run it. Be very careful here, though. If you’re throwing hot tub parties or your family is using it, you could run into some serious trouble if you get audited. If you want more details, here’s a great article and an interesting forum on the topic.
5. Hypoallergenic Formula.
If your child needs a prescription formula such as Alimentium or Nurtamigen (these are just examples…there are others out there, too,) it may be covered. Usually these coverages are in the form of reimbursement, and usually your health insurance company will give you the run around, even if it’s clearly stated in your policy. Stay strong. This stuff is expensive, so save your receipts and don’t give up the fight. You pay for that benefit, and you deserve to have them fulfill their end of the bargain. If you live in one of the following states, there is legislation dictating that your insurer cover these prescription formulas, regardless of if they want to or not: New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon, Texas, Minnesota, Arizona, South Dakota, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Get more details about each state’s specific legislation here. Knowing your rights within the law can be a powerful tool to speeding up the process. (Another option for families not in those states who don’t have coverage is to look into your local Women, Infants, and Children program.)