Take Action for Your Health

Do You Know How to Be Your Own Health Care Advocate?

The goal of this guide is to empower you to be your health care advocate. Through developing information about potential health care providers, you can make informed decisions when choosing a provider to keep you healthy.

How to find a provider.

Establishing Goals for Your Appointment

Your Health Insurance (and How Your Insurance Impacts Your Choices)

Health Care Advocate Guide

Take Action for Your Health

Chapter 1

Three of the most common reasons for finding a new provider are: moving to a new geographic area (e.g., moving to another state), changing health insurance coverage, and visiting a specialist beyond your primary care (such as a cardiologist – physician specializing in treating heart disorders).

Chapter 2

Consider this scenario: your primary care doctor has just referred you to see a specialist physician. Perhaps that specialist physician is a nephrologist (kidney specialist) because you have been having kidney troubles. After doing your research, you scheduled your first appointment.

Now what?

Chapter 3

You may have health insurance from your employer, or Medicaid may cover you. If you are an older individual or an individual with a disability, you may be covered by Medicare. (Even if you are Medicare-insured, you may have enrolled in various parts of Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan – which have different insurance coverage parameters.)

Do you know how to be your own health care advocate? Test your knowledge:

Health Care Advocate Guide

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Physicians and health care facilities are not all the same when it comes to the quality of healthcare. Some physicians may have more knowledge or expertise than others. Some are specialized for a person with a specific health disorder. Likewise, one hospital in your area may have an outstanding reputation.

At the same time, another may be linked to a high patient infection rate. There are times when you may need to schedule an appointment with a physician unfamiliar to you or require a hospital stay where you are not familiar with the clinical staff treating you. However, trusting that you will receive excellent medical care from any physician or hospital can feel like playing the lottery.