In the course of my job as co-host of Earrings Off! I speak with a lot of finance professionals who share great information on how to save, invest and plan for the future. One thing they routinely share is that you have to keep up with what you are spending by tracking where your money goes. I have been doing this for years and recently it paid a dividend for me.
I recently changed by health insurance carrier. My new coverage became effective last month. Since I didn’t have a scheduled doctor’s appointment coming soon, I just put the insurance card away and didn’t check to see what benefits were included with my plan. It was on my “To-do” list, but it wasn’t a priority.
The insurance company would send repeated emails and links telling me to log onto their site to become familiar with my plan. Remembering the advice of the finance professionals, I decided that since I was paying for the insurance, I needed to see what other benefits it offered beyond paying for visits to the doctor and prescriptions. The other day I went on the site to check out my new plan. I saw much of the information I expected and also saw a wellness section which included preventative benefits. I clicked on the section and was quite surprised to see my gym listed under the fitness options. I was immediately intrigued. My gym has never been listed as an option on the various plans I have held through the years. I have had other gyms included as part of my health insurance in the past but never the one I prefer to attend. No, it’s not that it’s any type of special gym. It’s just the gym that is familiar to me. I know where to park, I know the hours, the facilities, the offerings and the staff. All I have to do is get myself there and the rest comes fairly natural to me. My gym is just like my doctor. I don’t really look to make changes to those relationships unless there is a problem.
When I saw my gym listed, I sat straight up in my chair, curious as to what benefits might I now take advantage of. Could I get a free trainer or one at a reduced rate? Were there special classes I could now attend free of charge? Could I maybe get a free smoothie after I finished my work out? I couldn’t tell online what was included so I called my gym. The lady in Member Services knows me and after hearing my question, she said “Ms. Ali I am happy for you, your new insurance gives you the exact same membership level you are currently on, but it will be at no cost to you.” She continued by saying that our monthly billing would cease immediately. I was pleasantly surprised. My husband, even more so, since he pays for our gym membership. (He’s afraid if he doesn’t pay, I won’t go. So nice to know he has such faith in me, but I digress.)
That made me start thinking about what other benefits I may have cavalierly overlooked because of my busy schedule and my reluctance to tie up my limited amount of time trying to determine what was actually included in various services. If you have taken that stance in the past, I encourage you to re-think that. You may already be paying for services or items that are included elsewhere in your household spending. Taking the time to read over your documents or visit the company’s site online could result in you paying less but still enjoying your same lifestyle. Companies beware: I am on a mission. I am retired and I got nothing but time!