Take empowered action now!
Are you tired of feeling stuck, frustrated and like you don’t have any options when it comes to your healthcare?
Do you feel as though you are handcuffed by your health insurance, you worry about health expenses but want access to alternative and holistic health practices?
Do you know something just isn’t right with your body, and you need help investigating and interpreting what it needs and what to do?
Are you feeling a lack of confidence or disempowered when it comes to asking your doctors to run the test that you want, for alternative treatments and for the support you need?
It’s insurance open enrollment season, the time of year to take empowered action when it comes to your health!
I have been through the health insurance ringer myself and I know how frustrating the “system” can be, how it can leave you feeling like you’re out of options and out of luck.
I’ve grown to know the insurance system over the years more intimately than I had ever intentionally planned from dealing with various health conditions such as skin cancer, ear infections, allergies, hormone imbalances, Hashimoto’s and mold illness.
I was fortunate enough to gain a deeper understanding of insurance plans when I worked as the VP of Strategic Wellness Planning back in my corporate wellness days.
After sitting through long hours of repetitive open enrollment presentations for the corporate wellness company accounts that I oversaw back then, I finally had a better grasp of how to become more empowered in my health insurance options and therefore in my health.
Before I dive into how you can take empowered action with your health insurance and become more empowered in your health, let’s get a few things straight…
#1 Trust your body – nobody knows it like you do. Nobody!
Your body wants to be in balance. It wants to work for you, not against you. Symptoms are the last signs to show up in a disease or dysfunctional state and can be FAR REMOVED from the cause or contributing factors.
If something “doesn’t feel right”, or you “just don’t feel like yourself”, don’t let anyone tell you you’re fine. For the longest time I was the picture of perfect health according to my typical primary care conventional doctor even though I didn’t feel like myself, and come to find out there was an unhealthy storm brewing in my body leading to skin cancer, Hashimoto’s and hormone imbalances. Once I started trusting in my body and not taking no for an answer, I finally gained the courage to seek the therapies I needed to get well again.
#2 Stand up to the system – start viewing doctors just as any other service provider
Sure doctors have gone to school to specialize in medicine but that doesn’t mean they know everything or that they specialize in what you need them to specialize in. On average it takes 18 years for new research to hit mainstream medicine, and even more time for physicians to put that new information in play.
You have a right to choose a doctor that serves your greater good, to fire them if they aren’t doing a good job and to find one who meets your needs better.
You also have a right to be educated, to share your knowledge with your doctor and for them to respect it.
If you got a bad massage or haircut, chances are you wouldn’t go back to that service provider. We should start holding the same standards for our health care providers. Don’t settle for anything less than what you deserve when it comes to your health and wellbeing.
Once you get a handle on these two very important aspect of health empowerment, you’ll be ready to take on the system and take more empowered action when it comes to your healthcare.
In this week’s video I give you more tips to navigate the health insurance system and resources to find the right health practitioner to meet your needs.
Having the right type of health insurance to back you up is a big piece of the empowerment puzzle when it comes to your healthcare. I find that most people have no idea what kind of insurance they have, let alone what benefits they have with it.
In the U.S. there are two basic types of insurance plans and one can come with a huge optional bonus benefit…
HMO (Health Maintenance Organization)
- Biggest Advantage- premiums are generally lower, there is a low or no deductible
- Biggest DISadvantage – less flexibility with coverage, no coverage outside the HMO network and need a referral from PCP (primary care physician) for any speciality
PPO (Preferred Provider Organization)
- Biggest Advantage- more flexibility and coverage outside of the immediate network
- Biggest DISadvantage – premiums tend to be higher and it’s common for there to be a deductible
HSA High Deductible PPO
- BONUS Benefit – a tax-advantage medical savings account called a health savings account (HSA)
- Biggest Advantage- set aside pre-tax dollars for health costs that you keep forever (not a use it or lose it account like a FSA), some employers will match funds, funds can be used for diagnostic tests, prescriptions and most alternative therapies such as acupuncture, supplements and more
- Biggest DISadvantage- high deductible PPO, however you use your HSA funds to cover this
When shopping for or changing your insurance, you’ll want to consider:
- What is most important to you – having flexibility to see the doctors you want when you want (PPO) or saving money monthly (HMO)?
- Do you want coverage for alternative treatments (PPO) or not (most HMO)?
- Would setting aside money (HSA) help when things “pop up” or give you worry-free spending money to do what you want?
- Reviewing the full plan of explanation of benefits and exclusions to make sure it meets your needs
Knowledge is power, and with technology these days we have a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips to help empower us about our health. Get to know your benefit options and choose one that gives you what you need.
For example, by doing a simple google search for “what thyroid markers indicate Hashimoto’s”, there are a plethora of links and resources indicating that TSH and T4 aren’t the best indicators, yet most conventional doctors are still using those tests and missing the mark for Hashimoto’s.
The final piece to being truly empowered is making sure you have a health practitioner partner who has you in mind. I always say that finding the right one is like dating. You have to date a few to see if they are the right fit for you and if they meet all of your needs. This is true for any doctor, chiropractor, acupuncturist, personal trainer, massage therapist, health coach or other health practitioner you might be looking for.
The most important things I want my personal health practitioners to value are:
- Collaboration – we need to work together on my health
- Teamwork – they have to be willing to work with other specialists for my benefit
- Respect – they must respect my choices, even if they don’t agree with them
- Willingness – to try new methods as research evolves
- Attentive – attention to detail! I want to feel as if they know me and they care
Now you know a little bit more to help you take back control of your health, to take empowered action and to be your own health boss!
Take advantage of this open enrollment season to either change your insurance benefits to actually benefit you, or to educate yourself more about the ones you have and how you can get the most of them, and to make sure you have the right health practitioner by your side.
Know there are hundreds, if not thousands, of the health practitioners like myself who are cheering you on and want you to feel empowered in your choices 🙂
If you’re looking for a health practitioner who has your best interest in mind, then let’s chat to see how I can help! Schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Consultation here.
As a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, I help health-minded people get access to the right lab testing so they can find the missing pieces to their health puzzle, create a personalized health rebuilding lifestyle and get back to feeling like themselves again.