5 Summer health tips you probably haven’t thought about

Sponsored: After what seemed like a never-ending Utah winter, summer is finally here to stay. When it comes to keeping healthy this summer, we’re not here to tell you to stay hydrated or be safe on the trails (though you should do that, too). Instead, we’re sharing five tips you may not have considered before about maximizing your health insurance.

(MicrosoftTeams | University of Utah Health Plans, sponsored) Staying healthy as summer heats up.

#1: Get familiar with your insurance coverage:

Before heading out on summer vacation, take a few extra minutes to review your plan’s benefits. Search for nearby urgent cares in your plan’s network so you know where you’re covered if you need medical care away from home. You may also want to look at your plan’s telehealth benefits. Virtual appointments are especially convenient when on vacation and are great for treating minor allergic reactions, insect bites, rashes, cold symptoms, stomach bugs, and more. And if you’re going on an international trip, consider adding travel insurance with medical coverage to your pre-vacation checklist.

#2: Know your rights in an emergency:

If you or someone in your family needs emergency care while on a summer adventure, check your bill for surprise balances. You can’t always choose where you go for care, particularly in emergency situations. That’s why the No Surprises Act, passed in 2022, protects patients from excessive charges when getting out-of-network emergency care. If you get a surprise bill for emergency care, you have rights and protections. Answer these questions about your bill to find an action plan that works for your situation.

#3: Know where to go for care:

Speaking of emergencies, ER visits tend to spike in the summer months, but the emergency room isn’t always the best place to go, especially for your wallet. This tip sheet can help you decide when you need to go to the ER or when urgent care is more appropriate. Making the right choice for your situation can save you time, money, and hassle.

#4. Check on your FSA balance:

If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) as part of your health plan, summer is a great time to do the math on your spending so far. If you’ve spent most of your FSA in the last six months, you may want to consider increasing your contributions next year. Or if you have a lot of money left, you may want to make a plan to use it before the end of the year. You may be surprised at what you can use your FSA dollars for, like allergy medication, bandages, prescription sunglasses, sunscreen, and more.

#5. Get up to date on preventive care:

With the kids out of school, now is a perfect time to schedule their well child visits. These visits are completely free with insurance and are a great opportunity to check on their growth and development. Adults need preventive care too, so if it’s been a while since you had your last annual physical or health screening, get an appointment on the calendar. Remember, most health insurance plans cover these services at no cost to you. And some plans even offer rewards for staying up to date on your routine care.

So, go have some fun in this summer, but don’t forget: your health is your most valuable asset. Understanding how your health insurance can support your well-being this summer will help you make the most of the season while keeping your health a top priority.