Health insurance provides essential benefits that help you maintain your health and well-being, access care for accidents and illnesses, and protect you from unexpected medical costs. If you’re not sure how your health plan works or what it covers, you may not be maximizing the benefits available to you—and you could end up paying more for healthcare. Here are some tips to help you get the most from your health plan.
Virtual visits offer convenient access to health care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Rather than scheduling an in-person appointment at a doctor’s office, you can video chat or speak with a provider using a smartphone, computer, or tablet. It’s a great way to get the care you need for minor health conditions without leaving home. Following a few tips will help you get the most from your telehealth visits.
Optum is offering a free emotional support help line for all people impacted. This help line will provide those affected access to specially trained mental health specialists. The company’s public toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. This service is free of charge and open to anyone. Specially trained Optum mental health specialists help people manage their stress and anxiety so they can continue to address their everyday needs. Callers may also receive referrals to community resources to help them with specific concerns, including financial and legal matters.
Back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the U.S. In fact, 80 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point in life, and it affects men and women equally. Sometimes back pain is sharp and intense, caused by heavy lifting or an accident, and heals in a short period of time. Other times back pain is a dull, constant ache that prevents people from going to work and spending time with family and friends. Fortunately, there are ways to find relief from back pain.
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become more porous, fragile, and prone to fracture as you age. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, some 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and 44 million have low bone density, increasing their risk of breaking a bone. For those with osteoporosis, the most common fractures occur in the hip, spine, and wrist. The good news is that osteoporosis is manageable. Simple diet and lifestyle changes can help slow the loss of bone mass and help prevent fractures.
For men, the decision to get a prostate cancer screening is personal and complex. Medical organizations offer different recommendations regarding prostate cancer screenings. And, unlike other types of cancer, not all prostate cancers need treatment. Some men may find that the potential risks of screenings outweigh the benefits. Only you and your doctor can decide whether or not prostate cancer screening is right for you.
Screening mammograms use low-dose X-rays to find breast cancer early, before it causes any warning signs. These tests are important for women because treatment is more likely to be successful the sooner breast cancer is detected. The chances of survival are higher, too. While national health organizations offer different breast cancer screening guidelines, everyone agrees that women should discuss the benefits and risks of mammograms with their doctors and decide together when to begin screenings and how often to repeat them.
It isn’t always easy to know what to do, especially when symptoms come on suddenly, but knowing where to go for medical care is a key part of being an informed health care consumer. Before you wait for hours in the ER and end up with an exorbitant hospital bill, take a few moments to consider your options. It could save you time, money, and a lot of frustration.