4. If you learn nothing else today, learn this: Get everything in writing and keep a log. Make a file for your family today and keep records! Keep every medical bill and all paperwork from your insurance company, and get any answers to your questions in writing. Don't waste time on the phone. It can be frustrating, and when you hang up, you may feel better from what they just told you; but unless you have it in writing, it's like it never happened. So get everything in writing and hold onto it. It can be very important if you have a dispute with your insurance company in the future.

5. Don't keep your health insurance on autopilot. Even people who get coverage through their employers need to review their options every year—and heads up, everyone—open enrollment happens in the fall! Employers are raising costs in hidden ways such as by boosting co-payments for doctor's visits and charging three different tiers of costs for prescription drugs. You need to compare your total out-of-pocket costs for your regular doctors' visits and medications. The policy that cost the least in the past may no longer be your best deal. If you've had troubles with your health insurance company during the year, chances are your colleagues have too. Get together and talk to your human resources department. There's strength in numbers. Together you could get some changes.

6. For anyone involved in a dispute with your insurance company, get in touch with your state insurance department. They can be an excellent resource and can let you know what the appeals laws are in your state.
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.


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