In light of the continuing spread of the H1N1 virus – or swine flu – the Delaware Department of Insurance (“DOI”) encourages consumers to include a flu response plan in their disaster preparations this year. The first step in making that plan is a comprehensive review of your insurance policies. Here are a few things you should look for:
The World Health Organization (WHO) is advising countries in the northern hemisphere to prepare for a second wave of pandemic spread. In many cities and towns, schools and hospitals are already dealing with wide-spread outbreak. A vaccine for the H1N1 strain of flu is expected later this fall, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control suggest that the following groups consider the vaccine: pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, healthcare and emergency medical services personnel, persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old, and people 25 through 64 years of age who are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.
It’s always important to understand your health insurance policy, but with the potential for an increased demand for health care services, you need to be even more aware of your specific plan details. Take a few minutes to read your policy carefully in order to answer the following questions:
The federal government has created a web site with information: www.flu.gov.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control also has extensive information about H1N1 Influenza on its web site: www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/.
If you are unable to resolve any concerns you have about your health insurance with your insurance company, call the DOI toll-free at (800) 282-8611.
Beware of insurance fraud during this time of heightened awareness. To avoid insurance fraud, make sure the company you’re dealing with is reputable and licensed to do business in your state. Before signing any paperwork or writing a check, STOP; CALL the DOI and CONFIRM that the insurance company or agent is legitimate and licensed in Delaware. If you believe you have been a victim of insurance fraud, call the DOI Fraud Prevention Unit toll-free at (800) 632-5154.
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