Health Insurance Card Checklist

Health Insurance Card Checklist

We understand your health insurance authorization can be a tedious process. To ensure you have an easy transition, we are providing you with a checklist of preparations that simplify the entire experience; this minimizes surprises while your insurance provider processes your medical claims. Beyond your name and policy number, your insurance card contains important information. Many insurance companies list special instructions on the card about pre-certification or prior authorization for services. Check your card. If it shows that you must call your insurance company for authorization, ensure that you or a member of your family calls the company immediately. You usually must do so within 24 hours. To meet your insurance requirements, ask yourself…

  • Have you read the information on the front and back of all of your, and your spouse’s, insurance cards?
  • If you are required to get pre-certification or authorization for services, have you called your insurance company?
  • If you’ve called your insurance company, have you given the hospital your authorization number?
  • Do you know if your insurance company will cover doctor and hospital charges?
  • If your policy has a deductible, how much is it?
  • If your policy requires a second medical opinion, have you received it?
  • If your policy requires a co-payment, how much is it?
  • If your policy requires a referral form for health services, have you received it and given it to the hospital’s admissions office?
  • If your policy requires a claim form, have you filled it out?
  • If you are scheduled for surgery, is it related to an accident? If so, have you given the hospital all information about when, where and how the accident happened?
  • Are you covered by more than one insurance plan? If so, have you given the hospital all the information about all plans, including the plan name, address, phone number, ID number, enrollee’s date of birth, completed claim form and/or completed referral form?

We do not want you to be surprised by anything, so we offer as much information regarding your health insurance as possible to assist in understanding your financial responsibility. If you have further questions, contact our office at (718) 275-7200.

Calcium: Not Just For Bones

We all need calcium, women especially. In addition to strengthening bones and teeth, calcium is also vital to muscle and nerve development and plays a fundamental role in blood clotting.

According to the National Institute of Health, many people don’t get enough calcium from their diet, and The University of Virginia reports that women are eight times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. A condition resulting from a loss of bone mass, osteoporosis may lead to bone fractures and dental problems later in life. Although calcium deficits can affect both men and women, the health consequences for women are much more serious.

PMS Management, Breast Health & More

In addition to the main benefit of promoting bone health, calcium provides other health benefits such as a balanced menstrual cycle and breast health. Did you know that breastfeeding affects a mother’s bones? While they recover it quickly, studies have shown that women often lose 3 to 5 percent of their bone mass during breastfeeding. This is because the growing baby has a great need for calcium, and until it can be obtained from breast milk, it is drawn from the mother’s bones. This is why it is so important to take a high-quality calcium supplement, especially during pregnancy.

Calcium has also been shown to lessen the symptoms of PMS. Studies have shown that a 500mg daily calcium supplementation has shown a reduction in tiredness, depression and appetite changes associates with PMS. It has not been proven beyond a doubt, but anything that might relieve PMS symptoms is worth a try, right?

How much do I need?

According to the University of Illinois Extension, the average U.S. woman only get 500 to 600 mg of calcium each day. This is significantly less than the recommended 1,000 mg that women between the ages of 19 and 50 years of age should have. The amount of calcium you need will increase after the age of 50. Women 50 and up need 1,200 mg of calcium per day to support healthy bone mass.

Calcium Sources

Aside from supplementation, foods are an exceptional source of calcium. An 8-ounce serving of milk or yogurt or a 3-ounce serving of cheese delivers about 300 to 450 mg of calcium. Canned sardines, green leafy veggies such as kale and spinach, and calcium-enriched foods, such as orange juice and soy milk, are also great sources. If you’re interested in taking an over-the-counter calcium supplement, contact Dr. Hessel’s office for more information. Balanced nutrition is the key to great health, and we look forward to helping you meet your needs!

Insurance Definitions

Insurance Definitions

Deductible: The amount you’re responsible for paying for covered medical expenses before your health insurance plan begins to pay for covered medical expenses each year. Deductibles generally range from $0-$3,000 and vary by plan and coverage type. Check with your insurance company for your plan’s deductible amount.

Coinsurance: Shared costs between you and the health insurance plan. For example, you pay 20 percent of costs and your plan pays 80 percent. These percentages may be different from plan to plan. Some plans may not have coinsurance.

Copayment: The payment you make, usually a fixed dollar amount such as $15, each time you visit the doctor or fill a prescription medication. Not all plans have copayments.  These typically do not accumulate toward the deductible.

Out-of-pocket maximum: The most you will have to pay for covered medical expenses in a plan year through deductible and coinsurance before your insurance plan begins to pay 100 percent of covered medical expenses.