Did you know that February is National Wise Health Care Consumer Month? Healthcare is a service that all people at some point in their life have experienced. We are all very good at consuming, but most of us are not as good about doing research when it comes to our own health or healthcare providers, as we should be. According to the American Institute for Preventative Medicine, the average American spends more time researching car purchases and new appliances, than they do choosing their doctors and health care plans!
Here are some tips for being a Wise Health Consumer:
- Take time to carefully select at doctor. Ask friends and relatives for referrals or recommendations. Prior to going to a doctor, ensure they are in-network or a preferred provider to avoid uncovered charges.
- Be prepared for your doctor’s visits. Make a list of any questions you have and bring to your appointment, this will maximize your appointment time and avoid unnecessary calls and repeat visits.
- Keep a list of all medications you are currently taking and share with each doctor (if you see more than one), this will reduce the likelihood of a drug interaction.
- Understand your health insurance plan. Many times, yearly routine physicals and blood work is a covered benefit, however, sometimes the lab may use a different code when billing, resulting in an uncovered balance that is forwarded to you. Don’t be afraid to call the lab and insurance company and request to rebill charges using the correct codes.
- Take care of your mental health as well as your physical health. States of stress and emotional upset can create physical ailments; take some time to smell the roses!
By being a wise health consumer, you may significantly lower your medical related expenses…and spend less time on the phone with your insurance company and more time doing the things you love.