6 tips for choosing health care

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healthhappyLast month I was invited to a screening of Michael Moore’s film, ‘Sicko‘ and came away with a lot to think about.

I never realised how lucky I was to have a free National Health care Service; one that is envied around the world no less.

‘Sicko’ investigates health care in the United States, focusing on the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries and compares the for-profit, non-universal U.S. system with the non-profit universal health care systems of Canada, United Kingdom, France and Cuba.

I have friends in the US who have talked about not being able to afford basic health care, and as a parent, think how terrifying that must be.

Here at Chez Green, we very much take responsibility for our own health. We eat a balanced diet, get exercise, enjoy the fresh air, have adequate rest and reduce our stress as much as we can.

But there are times when we’ve visited our Doctor for his diagnostic skills or access to state-of-the-art screening. One example was when Little Miss Green ‘couldn’t hear’ me. It went on for a while with me trying to second guess whether she was choosing not to hear me, or really couldn’t.

We had a free hearing test booked within a week at the hospital and discovered that she was, in fact, having problems hearing. At that time Little Miss Green was developing her speech so it was imperative we sorted this issue out quickly.

With a change of diet and a couple of trips to the cranial osteopath her hearing was restored…

But where would we have been if we couldn’t have afforded that hearing test to diagnose for certain what was going on?

According to the latest findings from the United States Census Bureau, nearly 51 million Americans do not have health insurance.

Over on the Oprah site, you can find six tips for choosing the right health insurance so that you get the cover you need for your family – these include:

Location

Just like car insurance over here, health insurance varies depending on where you live. Check out whether there are any means-tested lower cost options available in your your state.

Priorities

List the top five things that are most important to you so you get the health cover you need.

Use a broker

Insurance brokers do the leg work for you in order to find a suitable insurance company and they’ll shop around for the best rates on your behalf. This saves you the time and hassle of calling individual companies.

Free trial

You can have a ‘free look’ with most companies for a certain length of time. This means you can get your money back if you’re not completely satisfied.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

If you only need insurance once or twice a year then an HSA is worth considering. These grow if you don’t use them and can be withdrawn once you are 65, giving you a nice bonus for your retirement.

Negotiate

Negotiate with your insurance company and your doctor. You might be surprised at what you get!

Finally, keep up to date with the latest information so you can remain informed and empowered. InsuranceQuotes.org offer quote comparisons and have a blog with additional resources to help you stay safe, healthy and successful.

What about you – how often do you use your doctor? Do you have any tips for finding the best health insurance?

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