This is the single most important best practice you can employ to effectively use your health plan.

  • Once you receive your insurance card, log onto the insurance company’s website and set up a username and password at either or
  • You can register in the upper right hand corner of the website.
  • You will need the insurance ID number found on your insurance card.
  • Be sure to store your username and password in a place where you can easily remember and retrieve it.

Read Your Policy to Understand Your Plan Details and Benefits

  • Have you ever read your health insurance policy? Most people have not.
  • We recommend that everyone read their policy, especially the pages that outline what is covered.
  • If you have questions about coverage, you will know where to go.
  • You can find you plan description on the insurance company website.

Verify your providers are contracted with Medicare

  • Go to
  • Click on “Find doctors & other health professionals;”
  • Enter provider name and zip code.
  • You need to go to providers contracted with Medicare in order for Medicare and your supplement to pay the bill.
  • NOTE: If you have an Advantage Plan, you can only access providers from Sansum Medical Clinic.

Access Claims Information and Explanation of Benefits

  • Log on to your insurance company website with your username and password
  • Click on the “Claims” section
  • You will see all your claims that have been processed. You will know what the doctor billed, what Medicare allowed (the negotiated fee), and what your supplement paid.
  • Note: It is fun to see how you save because of the Medicare negotiated fee.

You will be surprised at the amount of paperwork associated with Medicare.

Hopper Insurance Services created the “Four Folder” system based upon the idea that you can stay most organized by having the following four, labeled file folders:

  • Medicare. Use this folder to store your initial Medicare acceptance paperwork, and any documents you think need to be saved related to Medicare in general.
  • Medicare Supplement or Advantage Plan. Use this folder to store your policy, as well as other information you think you should save.
  • Prescription Plan. Use this folder to store your original policy, and other miscellaneous information related to prescriptions.
  • EOB. EOB stands for Explanation of Benefits. You will receive these forms from Medicare and from your supplemental Medicare plans. Store them in this folder, most recent in front, and you will have an easy-to-reference claims history.