February is Wise Health Care Consumer Month
When you are shopping for a product or service, chances are you take the time to do some research. Is the product you’re looking for going to work? Can you find a service for a lower cost? Is that particular store or company one you want to work with? You want to ensure that you are spending your money effectively on the products and services you need. But do you put the same time and effort into your healthcare? Unfortunately, over half of Americans have admitted they don’t feel confident in their ability to lower healthcare costs by shopping around, negotiating, or questioning recommended tests. This February, we want to encourage those in our communities to be more confident in making educated decisions about their own health by observing Wise Healthcare Consumer Month.
How to be a Wise Health Care Consumer
While many people believe that shopping around for healthcare won’t make a difference in cost, the truth is, consumers do have the power to lower their expenses. The American Institute for Preventive Medicine offers a Wise Health Care Consumerism Toolkit with various tips to becoming a wise health care consumer. These tips include:
- Take the time to research and select a doctor. Ensure they are in-network with your insurance, make you feel comfortable discussing your concerns, are knowledgeable, and can provide the care you need.
- Prepare for visits in advance. Write down any questions or concerns you may have prior to visiting with your doctor so you cover everything at once. You don’t want to realize you forgot to bring up a health concern a few days later and have to schedule another visit!
- Discuss medications. Let all of your doctors know what medications you are taking, and anything that is prescribed, be sure to ask questions – there may be generic options or similarly-effective medications that could save you money.
- Keep track of your testing. You could avoid unnecessary and potentially expensive medical tests by knowing what you’ve already had performed, as well as what your results were. This may not eliminate all tests if they are needed regularly, but it could end up saving time and money.
- Ensure your medicine cabinet is well stocked at home. Many common concerns can be managed effectively at home with over-the-counter medications, such as cold symptoms. Being equipped to handle simple health concerns at home will save you a trip to the doctor.
- Be knowledgeable about your health insurance plan. Don’t rely on medical offices to get the information for you. Knowing your health insurance plan will help you understand what to expect in different scenarios, and can help you identify any issues that may come up and cost you more if information is entered incorrectly.
By becoming a wise health care consumer, you can feel confident in taking control of your own health and save money. Begin your journey to becoming a wise health care consumer by visiting us today at Midwest Express Clinic. We make healthcare easy with a variety of medical services available at all of our convenient locations, including primary care, urgent care, diagnostics and x-rays, immunizations, and lab testing.