As an American, taking control of your medical records, insurance and bills can help you to keep down costs and improve your general health. With the right approach, you’ll be in a safer, more affordable position for the long term. Today, Bnews9 shares a few tips to get you started.
Understanding health insurance types and jargon can give you a big leg up when it comes to finding a plan that works for you. Whether you’ve opted for Medicaid, Medicare, or an individual policy, you’ll need to brush up on your terminology to be certain of how much you might be charged and other stipulations. Depending on your insurance provider, you may be subject to differing premiums, deductibles, allowed limits, and more – be certain to research these ahead of time if you’re thinking of switching plans.
Healthcare providers are obliged to keep copies of patients’ medical records but it’s often a good idea to ensure you have versions in your own possession. These could help you avoid billing errors and prove useful in a pinch if you’re incapacitated by medical issues or if you’re thinking of switching practices. You can usually access medical records through your healthcare provider’s website or request them personally (although this often incurs a small cost).
There is often a lot of complex information contained within your medical records and it can make sense to store these online as a single file. To help with this, there are plenty of online tools you can use. For instance, this PDF converter will create a PDF from your file that you can access and view whenever you like.
Once you have received medical care, it’s customary to receive a bill shortly after detailing the core information about the service, date of service, and any attached costs (for each item and in total). It’s important to learn how to read these documents so you can spot any overcharges, double-billing, and ensure details have been recorded correctly. You can also compare your charges against your Explanation of Benefits (EOB), which is provided by your insurance provider as a way to list which costs should be covered.
Affordable Care Act (ACA)
In 2010, U.S. Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as ‘Obamacare.’ This is a reform law designed to aid uninsured patients with limited finances or pre-existing conditions with acquiring insurance. As an eligible patient, you can explore the ACA Healthcare Exchange on the government website to view available options – this is especially useful if your household income is below Federal Poverty Levels (FPL), as you could be eligible for subsidies/Medicaid.
When it comes to healthcare, the ultimate way to save money and protect yourself is to improve your fitness and diet. A holistic approach to your lifestyle can help to reduce your risk of problems, cancer, and other obesity-linked issues. Often, small adjustments are all you need to build momentum. You could start by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, for example, or going for walks during your lunch break. With incremental progress, you’ll soon be more active and enjoying the associated health benefits.
Taking the initiative is not always easy but it does yield tangible benefits for your health and wallet. If you can learn the technicalities of healthcare, master your paperwork and improve your lifestyle, you’ll soon be in a better, happier lifelong position.
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