BECOMING A HEALTH CARE CONSUMER
When it comes to health care, we often forget that we are still consumers. As a consumer, you have the right to know what things cost and understand what you are paying for. You can control your health care decisions.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PREVENTIVE CARE SERVICES
Preventive care services, such as annual exams and immunizations, can help identify changes you can make today to prevent illness in the future. These services also help to detect conditions early, increasing the treatment options and success rates. Plus, preventive care services are often covered by your health plan at no cost to you.
DISCUSS ALTERNATIVES WITH YOU PHYSICIAN
Many times there are alternative procedures or methods to diagnose or treat a particular condition. When you and your physician discuss the alternatives available, you get a better understanding of possible advantages and disadvantages of each procedure. This allows you to make informed decisions based on the options that provide you with the greatest value.
ASK ABOUT PRICE
Before receiving care for non emergency services, be sure to ask if the service is necessary and what the service costs. Understanding what different services cost and how necessary those services may be to your heath, helps you make better decisions and allows you to control your out of pocket expenditures.
UTILIZE RESOURCES AVAILABLE THROUGH YOUR HEALTH PLAN
Many health plans now offer resources through their website or through phone support. These help you determine whether you need to seek the advice of a physician, a specialist, or treat the symptoms with over-the-counter solutions. They also provide quality information concerning particular hospitals and physicians.
ASK ABOUT SAVINGS OPTIONS FOR PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
You can often save money on prescription drugs by simply asking if generic or over-the-counter options are available for the brand name that is being prescribed. Other savings options, such as pill splitting or mail order, may be available. Ask your physician or pharmacist.