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1. Practice Prevention

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - and pounds of dollar bills. Use your health plan's preventive care benefits to get the services that catch problems in their earliest stages, when they're easier and less costly to treat. Spend a little on prevention - even if you're in the best of health right now - and you'll avoid spending a lot on complex care.

Take action:
Sign up to get emails about preventive screenings and immunizations from the Personal Health News Web site.

LM HealthWorks Plan:

2. Use In-Network Providers

If your health plan offers both in-network and out-of-network benefits, you save when you choose in-network providers. This is because they have negotiated rates with the health plan and generally charge less for their services. Plus, the plan pays more in benefits - and you pay less out of your own pocket - when you go in network for the care you need.

Although designating a Primary Care Physician (PCP) is not required for all health plans, building a relationship with a PCP can provide stability and help centralize coordination of care. A PCP provides routine, basic and preventive care, and can help you find the right specialty care when you need it. A PCP can be an internist, general or family practitioner or, for children, a pediatrician.

LM HealthWorks Plan:

  • Choose and visit with confidence an Aexcel-designated provider.

3. Rx: Switch to Mail Order and
Ask for Generics

If you and/or your covered family members are covered by a Lockheed Martin health plan and use medications on an ongoing basis (called maintenance medications), you can save with mail-order drug service. In fact, average savings with mail order (compared to using retail pharmacies) are $308 per year. Ask your doctor about substituting generic for brand-name drugs (where safe and appropriate) and you can save even more.

LM HealthWorks Plan:

  • Compare costs, find generic alternatives and find out if your medication is covered under the plan with the Price-a-Medication Tool. If you are already registered with Medco.com, you can access the Price-A-Medication Tool via your personalized Web site.

4. Complete a Well-Being Assessment

Some health plans offer a Health Assessment that members can take to learn about their current health status and health risks.

LM HealthWorks Plan:

  • Participating employees and their enrolled spouses or domestic partners can earn HealthFund credits by completing the Well-Being Assessment and other Healthy Actions. More money in your HealthFund means less money out of your own pocket for health care.
  • Find out how the HealthFund works.
  • See how much you can earn for your HealthFund by completing Healthy Actions.

5. Know Your Benefits and
Understand the Cost of Care Before You Go

Whenever possible, know what your health plan covers and how much your share of the cost will be before you receive care. Ask your doctor or health care provider for costs up front. That way you can discuss treatment alternatives with your doctor and make informed decisions.

Take action: Refer to your enrollment materials or your SPD for detailed information about your plan's coverage.

LM HealthWorks Plan:

  • To find average estimated costs for medical treatments, tests and other services in your area, use the Cost of Care tools.
  • Find out what you'll pay for prescriptions before you have them filled with the Price-a-Medication tool.

6. Use a Health Care Spending Account

Set money aside on a pre-tax basis to pay for predictable medical, dental and vision care expenses. Estimate carefully based on your previous year's experience and next year's expected needs to see how much you need to put aside for the upcoming year. On average, participants save 23% in taxes on the contribution amount set for the year, (assuming Federal, state and social security taxes), by paying their out-of-pocket health care and child care expenses on a pre-tax basis. Actual tax savings depends on several variables, including state and local tax rates and the tax bracket of the participant. For example, a 15% tax bracket can save up to 22.65% and a 27% tax bracket can save up to 34.65%. Remember, you must enroll for a Health Care Spending Account during the Annual Enrollment period in order to participate during the following plan year.

Learn more:

Learn more about the Health Care Spending Account and link to a list of eligible expenses.

7. Use the emergency room wisely.

When your health need or concern is not an emergency, the emergency room is not the place to be. Everything costs more in the hospital ER and you can wait hours to receive non-emergency care. When you need help in a hurry but it's not a life-threatening emergency, there are better, less costly options for the care you need - such as walk-in clinics, urgent-care centers and LMHealthWorks Wellness Centers.

LM HealthWorks Plan:

  • The online provider directory lists in-network walk-in clinics and urgent-care centers in your area.
  • Not sure what to do? Call the Nurse Advice Line (available 24/7) at 1-877-458-4975 for help deciding where to receive care.

Finally, take steps to Stay Well.

Remember, good health is your best weapon against the high cost of health care. Eat healthy, put exercise into your day, kick unhealthy habits and take time to relax and de-stress.

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