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Four Mistakes to Avoid If You Lose Your Health Insurance

Have you lost your health insurance along with your job? Here are some common mistakes to avoid.

1. Scheduling a bunch of tests before your insurance runs out
With unemployment numbers rising, a lot of people are booking last minute appointments before their insurance runs out. If you do this you’re sure to encounter some long lines. Worse, you could inadvertently set yourself up for an even harder time finding insurance later. You see, if one of these tests reveals a serious health problem you could be denied new insurance due to a “pre-existing condition.”

So, choose wisely. If you can manage to wait until your next job to get a full sweep of tests, do so. If you feel your health is in serious danger it is always advisable to seek medical attention. Your health is your greatest asset.

2. Failing to ask for reduced rates
Everyone knows health care costs can be very expensive. What you might not know is that doctors, dentists, and other health professionals frequently work with uninsured patients for reduced fees. You have nothing to lose by asking your health professional to reduce your fees if you are paying out of pocket. Do so in a respectful way and you may be surprised. The key is to be grateful for whatever discount your provider is willing to offer. After all, they are under no obligation to give it to you.

3. Forgetting immunizations
Protecting small children is one thing, but adults need protection, too. Don’t neglect to get adult immunizations. If you anticipate a lengthy time between jobs, be sure to keep your shots current. Preventative measures can save you a lot of money as well as preserve your health.

4. Not seeking new coverage alternatives
If you’ve lost a job you’ll need to look at all your options to get health insurance again. Some options could be to get on a spouse’s plan or a parent’s plan. You could also investigate plans offered through other groups or associations. For example, Fractured Atlas, based in New York City, caters to creative artists across the country.

Updated May 7, 2009