Getting the most out of your benefits
Health care is expensive. Premiums, copays, coinsurance – it all adds up. But there are ways to reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
A great first step is to register and log in to your member accounts through UHC, MetLife, Guardian, EyeMed and ARAG (access code: 18181LCR). There, you can find care and cost information, review claims, check your coverage and benefits and receive pharmacy and prescription support. If you plan to open an HSA or FSA, reviewing your previous year’s claims can help you decide how much you want to contribute to these accounts.
Tips for being a savvy benefits consumer
1. Shop around.
UnitedHealthcare, Guardian and Eyemed offer on-demand tools so you can compare facilities, doctors and procedures to find the right quality and value for your health. For major medical procedures, you could save hundreds of dollars.
Use myuhc.com, Guardian’s member site, or the UnitedHealthcare app to review your options. You can also log in to your EyeMed account and find coupons and promotions on the Special Offers page.
2. Know where to go for emergency care.
When you find yourself needing emergency medical services, you don’t want to delay care by having to research your options in the moment. Before you are in a situation where care is needed, you can log in to your myuhc.com account to find an in-network urgent care clinic or hospital near you:
- Click on the Find Care & Costs tab.
- Select Medical Directory and then Places.
- You can choose to view a list of either clinics or hospitals.
- You can refine your results by location (such as those closest to your home or a sports field you frequent), see if facilities are in-network and view their contact information.
Remember, urgent care services are best for situations where you need immediate care but your condition is not life-threatening. Emergency rooms are best for life-threatening injury or illness or conditions that could cause permanent disability if not immediately treated.
Urgent care clinics are generally more cost-effective than emergency rooms. To review the emergency care coverage provided by your medical plan, log in to myuhc.com, click on the Coverage & Benefits tab and then select Emergency care.
3. Save money with Optum Virtual Care.
UHC’s telemedicine benefit, Optum Virtual Care, can save you money on doctor visits for routine illnesses. Visit with a doctor from the comfort of your home using video chat. Doctors are available 24/7.
If you are enrolled in the Choice or Choice Plus plan, you will have a $0 copay for Optum Virtual Care visits. If you are enrolled in the Choice Plus with HSA plan, you will have a $49 copay that will apply towards your deductible. The copay can be paid using your HSA debit card and is less expensive than an in-person visit.
4. Discuss medication options with your doctor.
LCRA’s prescription drug plan categorizes drugs into three pricing tiers, with additional tiers for specialty drugs. You can search for a medication on myuhc.com or within the UnitedHealthcare app so you know exactly what you will pay before you arrive at the pharmacy. Consider having the UnitedHealthcare app available at the doctor’s office so you can have a more informed discussion about your medications and possible alternatives before leaving with the prescription.
Opting for generic medications or using OptumRX Home Delivery can help cut down on costs as well.
5. Keep up with preventive care.
Preventive care is designed to help you stay healthy and may help catch health problems early. LCRA’s medical plans cover preventive care at no additional cost when you see an in-network provider.
Preventive medical care includes screening tests, vaccines and wellness visits. Regular visits with your primary care doctor give you the opportunity to discuss things like quitting tobacco, healthy eating or reaching a healthy weight.
LCRA’s dental and vision plans also cover preventative care, such as routine cleanings or annual eye exams, at little or no cost.
6. Get a second opinion.
You have access to 2nd.MD, an LCRA benefit that provides a free second medical opinion. This service is available to all regular and project employees working 20 or more hours per week, even if you don’t participate in one of LCRA’s group medical plans. Visit www.2nd.md/lcra to activate your membership and schedule a consultation.
7. Ramp up wellness.
Our wellness program, Empower, supports you in developing healthy habits throughout the year. All LCRA employees are eligible to participate. Employees on an LCRA medical plan are eligible to receive a $50 incentive for completing quarterly challenge quotas. Set up and manage your account.
Want help managing your weight? If you participate in an LCRA medical plan, you and your covered dependents over age 18 have access to the Real Appeal Weight Loss program. It’s a comprehensive weight loss benefit available at no cost to you.
8. Coverage for the unexpected.
LCRA offers three supplemental insurance plans through MetLife – accident insurance, critical illness insurance and hospital indemnity insurance. These voluntary benefits can help you offset medical expenses beyond what is covered by your primary insurance.
There are no pre-existing condition limitations, so these benefits can be a helpful safety net for those with a family history of chronic illnesses, those who participate in high-risk activities such as contact sports, or those who plan to have surgery within the plan year. When a claim is approved, you receive a cash payout made directly to you, not your doctor or health care provider, and you can spend the funds however best serves you.
Simplifying Health Plan Terms – explanations of common health care terms
Just Plain Clear Glossary – look up medical and insurance jargon
Fidelity HSA Video – how an HSA works and how it could benefit you long-term
Making the Most of Your Health Savings Account – visual overview of an HSA
Choice Plus with HSA – Frequently Asked Questions – answers to common HSA questions
Review how our health care plans compare in different situations:
Questions? Need assistance?
MetLife (Accident, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity)
Fidelity Investments (Student Loan 401(k) Contribution Program, Health Savings Account)
P&A Group (FSA)
LCRA Human Resources
512-578-4004, option 4