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Topic: Benefits & Tools

Treatment cost advisor tools: Estimate expenses before you choose care

When you make a purchase, whether you’re buying a gallon of milk or a new car, you know what something costs before you buy it. But understanding the cost of healthcare up front isn’t as easy. Too often, you don’t know how much healthcare costs until you receive a bill from a provider or a statement from your health plan. Fortunately, most health plans offer treatment cost estimators and other tools that help you calculate your costs before you receive medical care.

A guide to getting the most from your health benefits

Health insurance provides essential benefits that help you maintain your health and well-being, access care for accidents and illnesses, and protect you from unexpected medical costs. If you’re not sure how your health plan works or what it covers, you may not be maximizing the benefits available to you—and you could end up paying more for healthcare. Here are some tips to help you get the most from your health plan.

How to quit smoking: 5 tips to help you resist tobacco cravings

Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body and is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Smokeless tobacco causes cancer of the mouth and can lead to nicotine addiction. If you use tobacco, you know you should quit. In fact, most adults who smoke cigarettes want to quit. And most adults who smoked cigarettes in the past have successfully quit. If you’ve tried quitting but started smoking or chewing tobacco again, a solid plan can improve your chances of quitting for good.

Virtual visits: Preparing for your telehealth appointment

Virtual visits offer convenient access to health care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Rather than scheduling an in-person appointment at a doctor’s office, you can video chat or speak with a provider using a smartphone, computer, or tablet. It’s a great way to get the care you need for minor health conditions without leaving home. Following a few tips will help you get the most from your telehealth visits.

OPTUM ALERT: NATIONAL UNREST

Optum is offering a free emotional support help line for all people impacted. This help line will provide those affected access to specially trained mental health specialists. The company’s public toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. This service is free of charge and open to anyone. Specially trained Optum mental health specialists help people manage their stress and anxiety so they can continue to address their everyday needs. Callers may also receive referrals to community resources to help them with specific concerns, including financial and legal matters.

Deductibles, copays, and coinsurance: Understanding the out-of-pocket costs of health insurance

Health insurance can be confusing. It isn’t always easy to understand the different costs that may be part of your health plan. Premiums, deductibles, copays, coinsurance, out-of-pocket maximums—if you’re not really sure what these terms mean, you’re not alone. Educating yourself about how health insurance works can help you plan ahead, calculate how much you may need to pay for your health care, and make the most of your health plan.

Where to go for medical care

It isn’t always easy to know what to do, especially when symptoms come on suddenly, but knowing where to go for medical care is a key part of being an informed health care consumer. Before you wait for hours in the ER and end up with an exorbitant hospital bill, take a few moments to consider your options. It could save you time, money, and a lot of frustration.

Earn rewards when you take a Health Risk Assessment

A Health Risk Assessment is an online program available to all APWU Health Plan members that helps determine your risk for certain health conditions and gives you a personalized plan for achieving your specific health goals. Health Risk Assessments analyze your health-related responses and create a profile with information to put you on a path toward good physical and mental health.