December 1, 2022

A person speaking with a pharmacist and getting medicine.

Image source: Getty Images

You may be surprised at the benefits you’re entitled to.

Key points

  • Many people’s health insurance plans leave them stuck with hefty bills
  • Your insurance plan might actually come with hidden benefits that do the opposite.
  • Look for savings on gym memberships, medications, and mental health services.

Without health insurance, the cost of receiving medical care can be truly astronomical — enough to potentially lead to bankruptcy. But unfortunately, even with health insurance, you might still wind up with a host of medical bills due to limited coverage or needing services outside of your provider network.

But while a lot of people with health insurance can still get stuck with costly bills, some insurance plans offer a host of hidden benefits that can actually result in a nice amount of savings. Here are a few perks that may be lurking in your plan without you even realizing it.

1. Gym membership reimbursement

You might love going to the gym and staying fit, but you may not enjoy the $80 monthly credit card charge your membership results in. You may not have to pay any or all of that if your health insurance plan offers reimbursement for gym memberships.

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Some plans with this feature do require you to submit records showing that you actually went to the gym. You’ll need to look at your plan details to figure out how to qualify. There may also be a cap on how much reimbursement you’re eligible for. For example, your plan might reimburse you up to $800 a year and if you spend more than that, the rest is on you. But still, it’s better than footing that entire bill yourself.

2. No-cost medications

Many people are used to visiting the pharmacy and being charged a copay for medications. Yours might be $5, $20, or $80, depending on the type of medication you need and whether it’s a brand-name drug versus the generic version. But some health insurance plans offer no-cost medications. If you need things like birth control or pills to control your cholesterol, you may find that you’re entitled to them without having to fork over a copay at all.

Furthermore, you may be entitled to bulk supplies of medications at no cost — for example, a 90-day supply of the pills you take daily. In some cases, that may require you to use a mail order service, but it’s worth getting the details so you can reap the savings.

3. A wide range of mental health services

Some health insurance plans are quite generous when it comes to mental health services. You may be entitled to things like group counseling, individual therapy, free access to mental health apps, or other services that promote strong mental health.

Know what benefits you’re entitled to

Reading through the rules of your health insurance plan may not seem like the most fun way to spend an afternoon. But it’s important that you familiarize yourself with that information so you can not only avoid extra bills, but also take advantage of the perks that are available to you. And if you have any questions about your benefits, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call the number on the back of your card. Sometimes, speaking to an actual person is the best way to get the information you need.

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