RULES TO LIVE BY – UPDATE PROVIDERS EACH YEAR
With the New Year in full swing, it is a good time to “spruce up” some things that we neglect for most of the year. One of the things that is always on my New Years list is updating my insurance information with all my providers.
Some of you may be thinking, “I have the same insurance card I had last year, why is that important?” It is important to build the habit of updating your information so that anytime in the future, when and if your information changes, you will have a built-in month of the year when you update your providers. Many primary care offices do a good job of prompting that information from you when you have a visit after January 1st, but building the habit so you will remember to update the information with other providers is a way to prevent future unnecessary charges for co-pays and deductibles.
This is especially true if you or a loved one is receiving public benefits, such as TennCare, for long-term care at home, or if you have a loved one in a long-term care facility. Make sure you get ALL insurance information to every provider including primary care physician, preferred hospital, ambulance company, specialists, etc. Nothing worries my clients more than to receive an invoice from a provider when they believed the service would be covered by their insurance. Being proactive will help decrease the likelihood of any uncovered medical expenses.
If you or a family member is receiving TennCare because of enrollment in the CHOICES program, you may have two cards from the managed care organization. It is important to provide both cards, as well as your Medicare cards, to all providers because they cover different services.
If you are a current Life Care Planning client and you have any questions about your insurance coverage, please contact your Elder Care Coordinator and they can help.
Jill Shoffner, LCSW, CCM
Elder Law Care Coordinator Manager