Making healthcare decisions has never been an easy thing to do. In the increasingly unsteady landscape of healthcare law it is only getting harder.

When it comes to taking care of yourself, there are multiple things to consider. Leading a healthy lifestyle by eating right and exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do.

Even if you’re naturally healthy, however, there will still be times when you need to make use of your health insurance. When these moments come, being informed can save you massive amounts of time and money.

Here are just a few tips to help you be a smarter healthcare consumer.

 

Find the Best Plan Possible

Having good healthcare coverage is crucial in order to get the proper care. Whether you renew a prescription every month or you only go to the doctor for an annual check-up, some plans will cost you more than others.

If you’re receiving care through your employer, you want to ensure that they have an insurance plan that covers a great deal of different situations including vision and dental.

You’ll also want to have coverage for surgeries and other medical procedures in case you are ever faced with them. The best time to learn about your job’s insurance coverage is during your interview, but if you’re already hired it’s not too late to ask.

Remember that the best plan isn’t necessarily the most expensive plan. In today’s world many providers are able to lower their rates by providing “high-deductible” plans attached to a Health Savings Account (HSA).

Often this type of plan won’t cover any of your care except for routine preventative check-ups until you meet your deductible. This sounds scary, but thanks to the attached HSA it usually doesn’t end up being a big deal. As long as you’re putting money into the account each paycheck you will probably find that you always have enough in your HSA

 

Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Obviously, you need to live a healthy lifestyle to be healthy, but there are reasons beyond that. Mainly, your ability to realize health coverage could be affected by your lifestyle.

For instance, if you are a smoker, drink often, and take illicit drugs, health insurance providers are less likely to want to cover you, due to the liability you pose.

Keep up a good lifestyle and you’ll be much better off in the case that you do need medical coverage. Check out our blog post on the essentials for healthy living.

 

Go to Urgent Care Instead of the ER

Even with health insurance, going to the emergency room can have a significant impact on your wallet. If you have no other choice, you should go to the ER. However, if local urgent care center like Calverthealth or someone similar is open and you need immediate help, you should go there.

These places typically let you just pay an insurance co-pay. You can help deal with your ailment without worrying about the expense as much.

 

Find a Trusted Doctor

A general practitioner in your area is someone you should have a relationship with. Even if you’re not dealing with any ailments at this time, you can still benefit greatly from consulting with a professional in advance.

Should you run into some trouble, you can consult them. Part of receiving quality healthcare means getting medical advice even when you’re doing generally well.

We hope this has given you a great idea for how to make informed healthcare decisions. These smart decisions come from within and apply to things like choosing doctors and what kind of care you receive. By following these tips, you can make the most informed healthcare decisions possible.

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Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. Kara is the youngest of four. She has two hilarious brothers and one beautiful sister. She also is the aunt of 5 crazy little girls that she loves more than anything! Kara is not yet able to be a mom, but she loves being around kids and being like a second mom to her nieces. She dreams of the day that she can start her own little family.