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Tips to become a better consumer of your own healthcare
Many people believe they have no influence over how much a healthcare service or procedure will cost. They also don't understand that when and where they receive their care has a direct impact on their future premiums.
Below are 2 tips to help get employees thinking about the quality, cost, and overall value the next time they seek healthcare.
1. Help employees understand WHEN and WHERE to see a doctor.
Rushing to the ER for minor injuries isn't a good use of anyone's time or money. Remind employees that for these situations it is often better to connect with their Primary Care office or by using an urgent care facility first.
2. Teach them they CAN shop around and save money.
Healthcare can be a huge expense, yet many people don't shop around like they do for other major purchases. Consider reminding them that it’s in their best interests to understand the ways to lower their out-of-pocket costs.
- Visit (or contact) their PCP first. PCPs can manage 80-90% of a person's healthcare needs. They are the keepers to overall health, know the patient’s full medical history, and can guide their patients when specialized treatment may be necessary.
- Ask their doctor about generic prescriptions or lower-cost alternatives. Use a price shopping tool like Drexi’s to compare costs at local pharmacies.
- Always review their medical bills and Explanation of Benefits (EOBs). Billing mistakes happen, so it’s important to validate every charge and ensure the plan benefits are being applied correctly.
- When labs, imaging/testing, or treatment from a specialist are needed, they can do the following:
- Ask how the lab is being billed. Labs drawn in an office setting may be billed as an office visit, but if they are being processed at a hospital, a facility charge may be incurred.
- For high-tech imaging (like CT Scan or MRI), request to be sent to an independent radiology center to reduce costs.
- Scheduling procedures (like a colonoscopy or outpatient surgery) at a free-standing outpatient surgical center, instead of a hospital, often costs substantially less with the same or even better outcomes.
AllaraCare offers solutions that make this process easy for HR leaders and employees alike. The sole purpose of our embedded concierge-like healthcare guides is to help employees with everything mentioned above. HR leaders manage fewer day-to-day health benefit questions and issues, and employees have a reliable resource to help them make more informed decisions about their healthcare.