Seven Tips for Being a Strong Health Care Advocate for Yourself
You trust your doctor and medical providers to do what is in your best interest and keep you informed of any information you need to take care of yourself. However, it is important for you to be proactive when it comes to your health and health care. Below are seven ways you can be a strong health care advocate for yourself.
Do not be afraid to ask questions.
You have a right and an obligation to yourself to ask as many questions as necessary to understand your health care. This includes asking questions about medications, surgeries, diagnostic tests, and treatment plan. Make sure you ask your physicians why they prescribe certain medications and treatments in addition to asking about the risks and benefits associated with the medication and treatment plan. Asking questions is one of the best ways you can be a health care advocate for yourself.
Understand your health insurance coverage and restrictions.
It is very important to understand the terms of your health insurance policy. Your insurance contract might require you to get a second opinion or prior authorization for certain procedures. If you are in doubt whether your insurance covers a certain procedure or medication, contact your health insurance provider to discuss your concerns and questions.
Consider an HSA or FSA for unexpected medical bills.
Paying for unexpected medical expenses can be difficult. In some cases, patients have declined medical care or decided not to take medications because they cannot “afford” them. An HSA and FSA are special accounts that you can contribute pre-tax money to from your earnings. The money remains non-taxable provided you use the funds to pay for approved health care expenses. You should discuss the benefits and disadvantages of an HSA and FSA with your tax professional before you decide to open an account.
Take advantage of free preventative care services.
Many insurance providers are now offering free preventive care services, including free health screenings, discounted gym memberships, and 24/7 access to nurse practitioners. Also, many hospitals have free clinics and classes you can take to learn more about preventive health care and ways you can improve your health through exercise, diet, and other non-medical measures.
Maintain detailed medical records.
If you need to switch physicians or go to another medical provider, it can be very helpful to have copies of your medical records. In some cases, having access to your own copies of your medical records is important if time is limited and immediate treatment is crucial for your health.
Obtain a second opinion if necessary.
If you have questions about a non-emergency procedure, diagnosis, or other matter, you have the right to see a second opinion. You have the right to seek a second opinion in an emergency; however, this is usually not feasible when your life depends on immediate medical treatment. If you want a second opinion, you need to check with your insurance provider to make sure that your health insurance covers the expense of a second opinion.
Learn about your family’s medical history.
Many conditions and illnesses are inherited. By learning about your family’s medical history, you might be able to take steps to reduce your risk of developing conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems, and other illnesses. At the very least, you can monitor your health more closely to catch these conditions in the initial stages so that you can begin treatment as early as possible.
Dallas Defective Product Attorneys
Our defective product attorneys represent clients throughout the United States who have been injured by dangerous drugs, defective medical devices, and other defective products. It is important to seek the advice of an experienced attorney as soon as you suspect a product might have injured you.
Contact The Fox Law Firm, P.C. by calling 1-866-FOX-FIRM or 1-866-369-3476 to schedule your free consultation with an attorney.