Updated Spet. 3, 2019: Perks! Discounts! Free stuff! It sounds like a Costco membership or an animated banner ad, but it’s actually your health insurance company.We found some of the coolest stuff health insurance companies are giving their customers. Your health insurer isn’t listed here? Don’t fret. Check out our info at the end of the article on how to find perks at your health insurance company.
Money for walking
It’s in your health insurance company’s best interests to ensure that you’re healthy, and what better way to do that than track your every move?
But not in a creepy way! Instead, they’re using apps to track how many steps you take.
Oscar, a health insurance startup based in New York, has an app tracks how many steps you take. After setting a step goal, Oscar will pay you $1 in Amazon gift card rewards for reaching your goal. You can earn up to $20 per month.
Fitness trackers are also making their way into corporate health plans. While not every company will give you a fitness tracker for free, they may offer you a discount for providing and using your own.
• Read our real life reviews of the latest fitness trackers.
Gym fee reimbursements
Gym fees can be really expensive. Luckily, your health insurance company wants you to go, and some of them will help you get there by reimbursing your gym fees.Oscar offers to pay up to $400 of gym fee reimbursements per year for their customers and up to $200 for any covered spouse.
UnitedHealthcare has a reimbursement program available at more than 124,000 fitness centers nationwide. Visit one of their partners twelve times in a month and get up to $50.
Blue Cross Blue Shield plans offer up to $150 a year in reimbursements for fitness center fees.
Free calls to doctors and nurses
Ever get sick and not know if it’s serious enough to warrant a trip to the urgent care center? Some health insurance companies offer a free phone support line that will connect you directly to a doctor or nurse. You can explain your symptoms and they’ll let you know if you need to go see a doctor in person.
Oscar will let you call a doctor directly from their app or website. Tricare has a Nurse Advice Line that will connect you with a registered nurse. UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Federal Employee Program also feature support lines to registered nurses.
More on health insurance from PolicyGenius:
What kind of health care do Americans want? They don't even know
Free preventative care
Thanks the Affordable Care Act, all group or individual health insurance plans purchased or created after March 23, 2010 have to cover all of the cost of preventative care.
What kind of preventative care is covered? Diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol tests. Breast, cervical, and colon cancer screening. Health education counseling (like help quitting smoking). Routine vaccines, flu shots (basically anything with a needle). Screening for healthy pregnancies and well-baby and well-child visits. HIV and STD screening. Osteoporosis screening. Obesity screening.Seriously, if it has the word "screening" in it, it’s probably covered.
How to find perks at your company
Want awesome perks from your health insurance company? Give them a call and see what they offer. It might seem like we’re passing the buck here, but trust us — it’s really hard to find information about all the different plans that the health insurance companies offer. A lot of this information is hidden on PDFs somewhere on the insurer’s website.
In fact, one of the only reasons Oscar is listed here so many times is because their website actually tells you what they offer in plain English, making it super easy to find their perks.
If you purchased your health insurance plan on the Marketplace, you can check out your info sheet, which will list all of the important information about your plan. These are standard across all health insurance companies offering plans on the Marketplace, so you can easily compare plans.
Work at a big company? Contact your human resources department. They’ll know everything there is to know about your benefits. And talking to another human being about it is a lot easier than searching through a thousand PDF files.
Image: H. Armstrong Roberts_ClassicStock