Many health insurance benefits started over with the New Year. With a new year, it is time to plan your healthcare routines and ensure that you are not only getting the most out of your health insurance, but that you are also living the healthiest life possible. Follow these health steps to ensure that you are setting yourself up for a healthy year.
Get to know your insurance benefits
Many people opt in for health insurance, but do not actually understand their plans. If they require medical services, they simply go to the nearest medical provider and hope that it is covered by their insurance. If it is not, they are left with hefty bill. Some insurance carriers change their policies and procedures with the new year, so it is important to evaluate your plan every year. Understand your copays, your deductibles, and what types of services are covered. This can prevent you from receiving a high medical bill, while also keeping you prepared for any emergency medical care.
Choose your primary medical providers
Some insurance providers require that you choose a preferred medical provider, or a primary care physician. If you do not have one of these, it can be difficult to get specialist referrals or to coordinate your medical care when visiting emergency departments or local urgent care centers. If you do not know how to choose a primary physician, work with your insurance company. Schedule an initial consultation with a couple of physicians in your area and then choose the one that you like best.
Know your emergency medical care options
Emergency medical care is usually what gets people into medical debt. They do not know where to go or what is covered with their insurance, but they do know that they require immediate medical care. When you are faced with a medical emergency, you will not want to research the best medical care options. Instead, evaluate your options ahead of time. Know where the nearest emergency room is and keep track of local urgent care centers. Know when you should choose emergency care or when local urgent care will work.
Local urgent care centers are a underutilized medical care option. Roughly 60% of all urgent care centers have a wait time of less than 15 minutes to see a physician or mid level provider. About 65% of the next care urgent care centers have a physician on site at all times. There are even advanced urgent care options for patients that need imaging or other types of testing. Having this information ahead of time can help you make an informed medical care decision. It is also important to know which local urgent care centers are covered under your current insurance plan.
Keep up with routine medical care
Most insurance plans offer free preventative medical care. The idea is that if you keep up with these medical care routines, you will not require as high cost of medical care throughout the year. Make sure you are taking advantage of these routine medical care options. You are paying for them already and they can end up saving your life. Find a physician?s office that is able to work around your schedule to ensure that you keep up with these preventative appointments. Remember that a physician, or group of physician?s, owns approximately 50% of urgent care centers. Urgent care centers are a convenient way to keep up with medical needs. Many of them are also open late into evenings and some on weekends. In fact, more than 66% of urgent care centers open before 9AM during the week, with significant proportions doing so on Saturday (45.7%) and Sunday (31.1%).
With a new year come new possibilities. Make this year your healthiest year yet. Understand your health benefits and take advantage of them. Keep up with routine medical preventions and finally choose your primary medical care provider. Know when to choose local urgent care over emergency medical care. Get the most out of your health insurance, while also being the healthiest you can be.