Money Saving Tips
EUTF Active Employee Open Enrollment
April 1 – 30, 2021
Properly using your EUTF health insurance coverage can save you and your family hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Making simple, cost-effective decisions and being aware of how to effectively use your benefits will also keep you healthy while saving you money. Start using the following tips today!
Choosing the Best Plan for Your Needs
Not all plans are created equal. Just because a plan has the highest monthly premium, does not mean it will be the most cost efficient. Be sure to factor in your cost share (deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance), monthly premiums, calendar-year maximum out-of-pocket, and your expected usage for the year before making any plan decisions. Every year open enrollment offers an opportunity to choose a plan that best suits your needs, which may change from year to year.
Pick the Right Facility
If you have a nagging cough, do not go to the emergency room (ER). The ER should be reserved for serious emergency situations. If you have a nonemergency illness or injury, go to your regular doctor or an urgent care facility. Cost savings can be significant. For example, the total cost of a typical office visit is around $100, while an ER visit could cost $1,000 or more. Other options for care include Kaiser Permanente or HMSA’s online or telephonic care and walk-in clinics such as urgent care or the CVS MinuteClinic.
Going to a nonparticipating doctor can be, in some cases, more than twice as expensive as going to a participating provider. Seeing doctors in your network is an easy way to keep your costs low.
Preventing disease and detecting health issues at an early stage is key to living a healthy life. Getting regular preventive care may help you ward off serious health issues. It’s much easier, and far less costly, to prevent an illness than it is to try to cure one. By following the guidelines for preventive care—and your doctor’s advice— you’re on your way to staying healthy. Most preventive services are completely free of charge for you and your dependents when you use participating providers (in-network providers). Examples include immunizations, annual exams, mammograms, and well-child care visits.
Prescription Drug Benefits
There are a number of ways to save money on your prescription drug costs. One of the most cost-effective ways is to ask your prescribing doctor if you can take a generic drug. Taking a brand-name drug over a generic can end up costing you three or four times more. For example, if you are on Zetia or Vytorin to lower cholesterol, ask your prescribing doctor if you can switch to ezetimibe/simvastatin or another generic. Doing so could save you up to $300 annually per prescription. Additionally, these changes could potentially save the EUTF hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, which would result in lower plan premiums.
Another great way to save money is by switching to mail order. In addition to saving money, mail order offers the added convenience of receiving your prescriptions at your doorstep, saving you time and money by not having to make regular trips to the pharmacy.
HMSA members: Call CVS Customer Care toll-free at 1-855-801-8263, visit caremark.com, or download CVS Caremark’s mobile app at the App Store or Google Play. While online, you can easily check the costs of your medications by using the “Check Your Drug Cost” tool and comparing your current prescription to other lower cost alternatives. Share this information with your physician to see if any of the lower cost alternatives are appropriate for you.
Kaiser Permanente members: If you have not done so already, you’ll need to register for a secure kp.org account in order to refill prescriptions online. You may also set up mail-order services when you visit Kaiser Permanente, or call the number on your prescription label.