Here are all the articles I wrote during June, 2016. I hope they're useful to you.

June 29th, 2016

“What’s Up, Doc?” Blog Series Part 4: Homework to Do Before Your Appointment!

Welcome back to our blogginess, “What’s Up, Doc?” You can find the first, second, and third parts in our series with those hyperlinks, hopefully giving you a Grey’s Anatomy to getting good healthcare.  😉

 

Today, we hit “Homework to Do Before Your Appointment!”

 

  1. Always have a current copy of your medical records.    Heads-up… before you leave ANY doctor’s appointment, ask for a copy of that day’s chart notes for your records!   I’ve never had a doc refuse my request.
  2. If you’re going to a new doc for the first time, email or fax a copy of your chart FIRST.    Hopefully, this will get your new doc up to speed before you get there.
  3. Your “go bag” should include a list of current medications and a record of any recent visits to other docs, why you went, and what happened.
  4. Write down your questions before the visit.   It’s easy to forget when you’re not feeling well!  Make a short list of other concerns and take it with you.   You can always come back to talk about other stuff, but what was the primary cause of making this appointment?    Stay focused!
  5. Ask  a friend to go with you.   It’s good to have a BFF in the room to write down what the doctor said… and to ask important questions which may not occur to you.   And it’s good to have loving support in the room, too, especially when you’re feeling scared!    “Selective hearing” is real and it happens!

 

Tune in next time for what to do you when you finally get to your appointment.

 

As always, I love hearing from my peeps.  Share your tips and tricks with me!…

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June 22nd, 2016

“What’s Up, Doc?” Blog Series Part 3: Let’s Make an Appointment!

Hello, my lovely readers!  Welcome back to our on-going series, “What’s Up, Doc?” I’m your host, The Insurance Mom.

 

You can read about finding a good doc HERE and about what to do before scheduling your appointment HERE.   Now, “Let’s Make an Appointment!”

 

  1. Doctor’s offices are busier than ever.   Schedule an appointment as soon as you know you’ll need a follow-up visit or as soon you’re feeling icky.
  2. Or skip the doctor and go right to an IN-network urgent care center.
  3. If it’s a simple medical issue, you can also try LiveHealthOnline.com.  You can video chat 24/7 with a board-certified doctor (even a therapist!).  Sometimes they can even diagnose and prescribe meds!  Use code HEALTHYWOMEN for a free first visit.  Men, I wasn’t able to find one for you so use the code at your karmic risk. 🙂
  4. If you read our first posts, you already know if the doctor is in- or out-of-network.  If the doctor is OUT-of-network (and this the only doc you want to see), ask what the cash price is.  If you don’t faint when they tell you, say you’d love to keep doing business with them but the doctor is out-of-network for your plan.  Suggest that they give you a cash   See what they say!  Never hurts to ask, right?

 

Be a good negotiator, be your own best advocate.   It’s YOUR money, you have the control, not the receptionist!

 

Let me know, audience… how do YOU fare at the doctor’s office?  Share with me!…

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June 15th, 2016

“What’s Up, Doc?” Blog Series Part 2: What Do Before Your Visit

Welcome back, folks!  Thanks for following our series, “What’s Up, Doc?”

 

You’ve read the first part in our series, “How Do I Find a Doctor?”  and you’ve found a doctor you like.  Now let’s dive into the visit.    What to do before you schedule your appointment.

 

  1. Make absolutely SURE that your doctor is IN-network on your plan BEFORE your visit.  If you haven’t been in a while, it’s possible things have changed.   Search the provider directory at your insurance company’s website.
  2. If they are IN-network, you will probably have a co-pay for the office visit.   If you don’t remember how much your copay will be, check your ID card. The co-pays for primary care and specialists should be listed right on the front!
  3. Know what a co-pay means!  Remember… the office visit fee co-pay is what the doc charges you just for showing up and reading old magazines!   They call it the “consultation.”   Sometimes the office visit co-pay is all you’ll pay.  But sometimes, you will also pay for any medical services the doctor does to/for you.
  4. Register at your insurance company’s website.  There are lots of cool tools available… including a whole run down of your insurance benefits.
  5. Download a copy of your benefits into your phone (let it be smart for you!)     Know more than the receptionist about your plan… stay in control of your money!

 

As always, please keep me posted on your rolling thoughts, tips, tricks, and FAQ’s!  I want to hear from YOU!…

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June 8th, 2016

“What’s Up, Doc?” Blog Series Part 1: How to Find a Doctor

Wanna get more out of your visit with the doctor?  Here’s a great 2005 LA Times article coupled with expertise from The Insurance Mom herself.  Despite the new world order created by the Affordable Care Act, this info will still help you!

 

Watch for our new multi-part blog series, “What’s Up, Doc?” We’ll be sharing some tips & tricks about how find a good doc, how to talk to your doc, how to get the most out of your health insurance and, ultimately, how to feel like your doc really “hears” you.

 

First steps first…. getting a doctor you know and trust.  The Congressional Quarterly recently shared a report from the CDC which says up to 26.7 % of Americans may have access to healthcare now, but they don’t have a “usual place for medical care.”    They “haven’t found the right provider or been diligent about making appointments to see them.”  With more people using insurance now more than ever, doctor’s offices are busy and only taking certain types of insurance.    We call that “rationed health care.”

 

You don’t want Dr. Do-little, so now it’s time to research, research, research!  You do it for the best new sushi bar, or best deal on contractors and best prices for a car, why not with your doctors?

 

  1. Call The Insurance Mom.  She has loads of recs for docs in the LA area.
  2. Search your insurance company website for doctors in your immediate area.   Remember… IN-network means oodles of money-saving!
  3. Compare that list of IN-network docs to Yelp OR HealthGrades or RateMD’s.
  4. Don’t wait until you’re sick to get in with a doc.  Use a check-up as a good intro to meet & greet your new doctor (that way if/when you get sick you have a familiar face at
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