Making good choices in terms of diet, exercise, and lifestyle are key to maintaining optimal health. However, sometimes issues can arise that require the attention of a healthcare professional. Even when nothing is wrong, it’s always recommended that you schedule your annual wellness and preventive visit with your doctor to ensure proper tests and screenings occur that give you a view of your health and to make sure all is well.
Making good choices in terms of diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices are key to maintaining optimal health. However, sometimes issues can arise that require the attention of a healthcare professional. Even when nothing is wrong, it’s always recommended that you schedule your annual wellness and preventive visits with your doctor to ensure proper tests and screenings occur that give you a view of your health and make sure all is well.
On the next trip to your provider, there are things you can do to ensure an optimal visit. Here are just a few:
Confirm Your Provider Is In-Network
Physicians, urgent cares, labs, imaging centers, and hospitals change participation in health care networks frequently, which is why it’s extremely important to talk with your provider to ensure they are in your program network and that they accept your health share program prior to booking an appointment or receiving services. The last thing you need is to be responsible for the full cost of an out-of-network provider visit.
Unexpected accidents and medical events can occur, which is why it’s always a good idea to locate and confirm your nearest/preferred emergency facility and urgent care facility so you will know where to go.
Your member ID card contains all of the information a provider will need to confirm your program and benefits. There may be confusion on the part of the provider because health sharing is not as common as insurance, so don’t be alarmed. If this happens, have the provider contact member services to understand the situation and to help clarify.
Make Your Appointment and Request Preauthorization
There are a couple of important things to do when making your appointment:
- Be specific about the nature of your appointment. There is a huge difference between a routine doctor visit and your annual wellness and preventive visit. Annual Wellness and Preventive is a 45-minute appointment that is intended to help you get a really strong indicator of your overall health. Your age and gender determine what types of tests and screenings your doctor will perform and order, and the majority will be included in your benefits. The best part of this annual visit is that it does not count toward any number of allowed visits established by your program, and there is no consult fee. It’s $0. Scheduling a routine visit for a medical need will count toward any allowable number of visits (if applicable), and you will need to be prepared to pay the per-visit consult fee outlined in your program benefits.
- Ask your provider to request preauthorization for your Annual Wellness visit, which will ensure that you and your provider understand what services and benefits are included in your specific healthshare program. Many health care programs review requests very quickly and coordinate with your provider to ensure a quick approval process.
Watch/Listen for an Appointment Confirmation
Your provider will reach out via phone call and/or SMS/text to confirm your appointment. If you don’t hear from your provider, it’s a good idea to contact them to make sure you’re on the calendar as scheduled. It’s no fun showing up when you’re not on the books!
Arrive at Least 20 Minutes Early
Make sure you plan to arrive at the provider facility/office at least 20 minutes prior to your appointment time. This will give you time to check-in, complete any paperwork, and maybe take a big break and relax a bit before you get your blood pressure taken (especially if you had to pay for parking, bring your ticket, and inquire about validation).
Go in With a List of Written Questions
You might have a number of questions that you want to ask your physician, but when you’re finally face-to-face, it’s easy to forget some of them. Rather than relying solely on memory, make sure to write your questions down (either on paper or in a phone app like Notes) so nothing goes unasked. Be sure to jot down answers as your physician gives them to you so you don’t forget and will have something to reference later.
Be Open About Your Family Health History
Your doctor can gain important insight into your health by understanding the history of your family’s health. For instance, a history of cancer or heart disease might put you at greater risk for these diseases, and your doctor will be able to better establish a strategy for you to avoid such ailments, or at least deal with them more effectively if they do occur.
Be Honest about Your Ailments
It’s not uncommon for people to not be entirely forthcoming about their medical situation. This may be out of fear of the reactions of the doctor or out of embarrassment. Whatever the case may be, being completely honest about your health situation is crucial so that the physician can make an accurate diagnosis and provide the right course of action.
A health share program may be a more affordable alternative to traditional health insurance.
Bring Your Medications to Your Doctor’s Visit
If you visit the same doctor at every visit and have been doing so for years, your physician may already know what medications you take. However, if you are taking prescription medications that have been prescribed by another doctor, the physician you are currently visiting won’t have any record of them. It’s wise to show up at your doctor’s appointments with your current medications, which will help the doctor understand both what you’re taking and the dosage.
Bring a Friend
Sometimes, medical appointments can be intimidating and confusing. Perhaps you are the type to be apprehensive about visiting the doctor, or maybe you need some help understanding the medical information your physician is providing. A friend or family member who is present can provide you with support, but they can also help explain things to you and help you make specific decisions about your health care and treatment. This can be especially helpful if you are being given the news about a new diagnosis or changes to the medications you need to take.
Consider Membership in a Health Share Program
If you are looking to reduce your monthly healthcare premiums while maintaining great benefits, a health share program can be the best solution. Members of a Christian health share plan often pay less for healthcare than those who choose traditional insurance, and they also benefit from more flexibility and freedom in their healthcare choices.
UHSM offers various health share programs (with or without prescription benefits) to suit several needs and budgets. Reach out today to learn more about UHSM programs and find out if you qualify for membership. Click here to see how much you can save with a health share program.