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  • Writer's pictureMike Riska

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a Great Time to Claim Your Wellness Benefits

I recently wrote about how the Wellness Benefits built in to many voluntary benefit plans represent a claim you can be paid for every year. They're an incentive from the insurance carrier to do something proactive for your health, that just so happens to reduce their overall claims experience over time. Win-win.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so this is a good time to remind you that once you hit a certain age your doctor has a list of exams they'd like you to get on a regular basis and for women that includes a mammogram. Don't skip this. When you should start is between you and your doctor, but Mayo clinic offers them starting at age 40 and every year after that.

If you're not sure if you have a wellness benefit for this test in any of your voluntary plans, this is also a good time to review your plans with your agent. Our client advocate team helps our clients with these all the time.

What you're looking for is a Wellness Benefit in a critical illness, cancer, accident or hospital indemnity plan. Critical illness and cancer plans tend to limit wellness benefits to screenings that prevent or detect serious illness, so a mammogram would certainly be on the list. The Wellness Benefit on accident and hospital plans tends to pay for a broader set of exams and tests, so your mammogram would likely be payable on one of those plans too.

Your insurance carrier will have instructions for how to make your wellness claim. Most allow you to do it online or by phone. And most will pay this claim with just a few basic pieces of information, like the name of the test you had done, the doctor and the date. They want to make it easy to make this claim; it helps you, it helps them and it's a great reminder of the value of an insurance policy that otherwise you're hoping to never make a claim on.

Once you submit the claim, you just wait for your check. Some carriers will even direct deposit the cash to your bank account. Your health insurance picked up the tab for the screening, so you did something good for yourself and you're in the black. Make sure you do it again next year.

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