One of the crucial issues facing us today is how to improve health care quality, access, costs and coverage for all Americans. You can improve your odds of getting the care you need by advocating in your own behalf. Here are some tips to get you started. Learn more helpful information about navigating the health care system in the Arthritis Foundation's Access to Care for Arthritis guide.
Ten Tips for Improving Your Care and Your Coverage
- DO read your policy or coverage information carefully to become familiar with what is covered and what is not.
- DO speak with the benefits specialist at your workplace, through your group insurance, or even at your doctor’s office to explore options for getting lower premiums or better coverage for your needs.
- DO ask your doctor or pharmacist if a generic drug is available for your prescription in order to save costs or get coverage for your drug.
- DO explore discount programs from the company that manufactures your prescribed drug. Find drug discount and biologic-specific resources.
- DO consult your state’s insurance commissioner’s office or Web site for state-specific laws and resources that help you maintain your coverage or access to care.
- DO contact your insurance company directly to ask questions about getting a lower premium, more coverage under your existing premium, approval for drugs or treatments that are not included in your formulary, or to appeal denials for treatment coverage.
- DO ask your doctor to help when you are denied coverage for a drug or cannot afford your portion of the costs for the drug. He or she may be able to appeal on your behalf to your insurance company.
- DON’T take no for an answer until you have explored all of your options for maintaining your coverage if you lose your benefits due to job loss, company failure, divorce or other changes. Many people who persist in their efforts to get coverage find a solution.
- DON’T be afraid to ask questions. Your insurance company should have a toll-free information number and a Web site. Call the company to ask questions or visit the Web site and email questions.
- DON’T choose between paying for your medical care and paying for rent, food, utilities or other necessities. Explore all of your options, including contacting your state insurance commissioner, and get help now.
You can take action if you are denied covereage. Learn five steps you can take if you are turned down for an insurance claim.
Learn more helpful information about navigating the health care system in the Arthritis Foundation's Access to Care for Arthritis guide.
You don’t have to be a mover and shaker in Washington to make a difference. Learn how you can get involved.
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Did you know that the Arthritis Foundation advocates on behalf of people like you to promote legislation to improve your access to medical care and your access to comprehensive insurance coverage to pay for that care? Find out how to become an arthritis advocate.