Dear Red Hot Mamas- February 2017

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: February 9, 2017

Dear Red Hot Mamas,

We’ve all heard the words many times about the importance of becoming an empowered healthcare consumer.  To do it effectively, we need some basic knowledge about how to do it.

It’s very important to get an annual physical.  Your annual physical not only helps you to build a relationship with your clinician, who one day will help to coordinate your care if you become ill, but it also will help you to improve your overall health.  You need to be prepared when you visit your clinician.  Write down your questions and describe thoroughly to the clinician what services you want him or her to provide.

If you don’t have a regular clinician, you might try to take advantage of free preventive screenings that may be offered in your geographic area.

Many women tell to me they can’t afford their clinician’s fees.  And, so what do they do?   They skip their appointments and may be putting their health in jeopardy.

Sure, a lot of us are faced with mounting insurance deductibles, as well as out of pocket medical expenses.  So, in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with asking a clinician to lower his or her fees according to your financial situation.

We don’t often think about doing this, however, many clinicians will cut their fees if you do so.  You might have to bargain a little with the clinician, but it is worth it to get medical care to protect your health.  Clinicians are there to help people, so why not ask for help when you need it.

It is equally important to make friends with your local pharmacist.  Of course, he/she should discuss what drugs, dosages you are taking and carefully explain how to take your medications .  But the pharmacist should also help you to save money by presenting you with generic options, coupon options, and help to make you aware of formal pharmacy-assistance programs.  The pharmacist may even help you to apply for help from these available programs.

Another piece of information, if your medication is too costly and your insurance company won’t pay for it, you can call the drug company manufacturer directly.  Many drug companies have customer assistance programs that will help you if you can’t afford their medication.

Just remember, you can become an educated healthcare consumer by taking charge of your healthcare and by learning how to work the system to cut your healthcare costs and continue to get the medical care your deserve for better health.

Good Health to You All,

Karen Giblin

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