Managing Costs

Getting the most from your health plan

It’s a good idea to get familiar with what’s covered by your plan. You can save money by choosing services and providers in your network – and making smart choices about your care. Here are some tips on how to get high-quality care at a price that works with your budget. 

Simple ways to save.

Here are a few quick ways to keep your costs under control:

  • Stay in network – Choosing providers in your network will almost always mean you’ll pay less.

  • Know what’s covered – You can find your coverage and benefits information on myuhc.comOpens a new window to learn exactly what’s covered and what’s not. Review this information before you start using your plan so you’re not surprised by costs later.

  • When you need care, call your PCP or family doctor first – Your physician has easy access to your records, knows the bigger picture of your health, and many offer same-day appointments to meet your needs. When seeing your physician is not possible it's important to know your quick care options to find the place that's right for you and help avoid financial surprises. Learn more

  • Understand key health insurance terms – It’s a good idea to know what important health insurance terms mean. Here are two important terms that can keep your costs in check:

    • Referral – A referral is when a primary care physician (PCP) authorizes a covered person to see a specialist for diagnosis or treatment of a medical condition.  Not all health plans require a referral, but if your plan does, ask your PCP or clinic for an electronic referral before you visit a specialist. Without this referral, you’ll likely pay more or your care may not be covered. If you don’t know if you need a referral, visit the coverage & benefits section of myuhc.comOpens a new window or call the number on your ID card to find out. Your ID card may even say, “Referrals Required.”

    • Prior authorization – Prior authorization means getting approval before you can get access to medicine or services. With prior authorization, your health insurance agrees to pay for the service – and it’s important to know that ahead of time. If you are unsure of whether you need prior authorization for a service, take a look at your coverage documents or call the number on your ID card.

If you see health insurance terms you don’t know, like “deductible” or “coinsurance,” review our Common Terms. You'll find many words defined in plain, clear language to help you make informed decisions.

Sign up on

There’s an easy way to find network doctors, see what’s covered, review your claims and estimate the cost of services – it’s all in one place on myuhc.comOpens a new window. Sign up in less than one minute and you’ll get access to a personalized site that includes all of your health information and helps you manage your health care and costs quickly and easily. 

Download the Health4Me app.

Use this free app to get easy mobile access to review cost estimates and claims, find network providers, get a digital health plan ID card and more. Learn More

Get cost estimates.

Use the Cost Estimator tool on myuhc.comOpens a new window or the Health4Me app to check on the cost of services and providers before you make appointments.

Save on your medications.

Simple pharmacy tips can help you save when you’re filling your prescriptions. Learn More

Got three minutes?

Watch “Avoiding Cost Surprises” for a quick overview on how to save on your health care costs.