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In-N-Out is a popular, fast-food burger spot located across six states. They have a very simple menu that consists of a few burgers, fries, and shakes. It resembles nothing like the Cheesecake Factory. One of the things that makes In-N-Out so popular, aside from its quality food, is its “secret menu.”

The regular In-N-Out menu has three burger options (double, cheese, hamburger), fries, and shakes. That’s it. To the unsuspecting visitor, there is nothing special about it. But for those “in-the-know” there is an entire secret menu that’s not published. The secret menu allows you to order burgers and fries Animal or protein style, grilled cheese, or something called a 3×3.

Like In-N-Out, health insurance companies have something similar to a secret menu. There are a handful of secrets that can save you money but are relatively unknown to the average person. Here’s four secret tips to save you money that health insurance companies don’t want you to know.

Do Not Pay If You’re Not Given a Choice

Out-of-Network refers to when you see a doctor that’s not in your plan’s network of doctors. If you choose to see a doctor out of network, you can be sure you’ll be charged. But if you are in a situation, like surgery, where you’re not given the choice of your anesthesiologist, you might be hit with an out-of-network fee. This can be quite large. But if you were never given a choice about what anesthesiologist you’d like, you can send a letter to your insurance provider notifying them of this. It will take some time, but most of the time you will not be on hook for the extra bill.

You Could Be Eligible For More Benefits

Each state has different laws for their health coverage. So some states might cover services that another state won’t. For example, some states offer infertility coverage while others do not. However, states might not market all of these different state-level coverage differentiations. It’s up to you as the consumer to educate yourself on what benefits and coverage you’re eligible for.

Symptoms Talk

Our current healthcare system does not like to pay for preventative care. If a procedure is deemed unnecessary, it will not be paid for. Procedures like a colonoscopy are not commonly covered, only some states require for them to be a part of general screening. But if you feel like you need one, visit your doctor and discuss your symptoms and the reasons why you need one. Plans need to pay for a colonoscopy if you have gastro complaints.

Doctors Are a Good Resource

Your doctor is obviously a great resource for your health-related questions. But they can also be a great ally when you have disputes with your health insurance provider.

If a doctor orders massage sessions for your ailing back, your insurance provider might not cover it, despite the doctor’s orders. Ask your doctor to help, she can provide some pressure to the provider by informing them she will go to the state board that oversees health plans. Health insurance providers might not be scared of an individual, but the state board will get their attention.

In a perfect world, insurance companies would be upfront with us about what coverage we have and what our best solutions are. But we live in a world where it’s up to us to find all the loopholes that are available to us. Understanding secret tips like these will help you down the line keep your medical costs lower.

Image Courtesy of In-N-Out

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