The consumer-driven health care approach puts YOU in control of your health, your wellness, and your money. It is best utilized when you are informed about choosing the right doctors, treatments, and medicines through being a savvy consumer of health care and are proactive about maintaining good health. What’s great about this is that the same knowledge allowing
you to successfully utilize consumer-driven health care is also the knowledge that every consumer of health care needs to know in order to fix our health care system.
Transparency means consumers are proactive about discovering costs and ask physicians to be forthcoming about the amount they are charged for procedures and medicines. Consumer-driven health care followers ask for an Explanation of Benefits when undergoing costly procedures, so they understand what they are paying for. They’ll do a price comparison with multiple doctors to ensure the best care at the best price. With consumer-driven health care, consumers research their own health care expenditures, choosing the most cost-effective method of treatment because they are spending their own money for services and are fully aware of the true costs.
Once you understand the true costs of the health care you receive, you are more motivated to stay healthy and out of the health care system. You are also more likely to make healthier choices and take care of yourself. You are more prone to research home treatments or call a nurse line for advice, rather than go to the doctor. When you do go to the doctor, you ask more questions, wanting to be fully informed about what you are paying for and what alternatives are available so you can make an informed decision. These responsible choices increase the likelihood that the money invested in your consumer-driven health care account remains an asset that grows over time, rather than paid our to your doctor.
As a consumer who takes advantage of consumer-driven health care solutions, you are more likely to improve the health of your body, mind, and net worth. Consumer-driven health plans offer you financial advantages by allowing you to spend pre-tax money to make health-related purchases, and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) allow the money you save staying out of the health care system to become an asset that grows over time. The financial incentive to stay well motivates you to take better care of yourself, with the happy side effect of enjoying a vibrant, productive lifestyle in the process.
When you understand the most pressing problems with the health care system, how your choices impact rising costs, and that consumer-driven health care tools can provide financial and physical advantages that solve these problems, you can begin to look at the most important part of the entire puzzle— your health and wellness. Seventy-four percent of all health problems are lifestyle related; therefore, the best way to reduce health care cost is to reduce the need for health care by striving for overall wellness.
Wellness is more than just getting your checkups and eating right (both solid components), but to be truly well, you must focus on all aspects. IF You Are Well provides the information and tips on how to improve four key areas of your life: physical, psychological, relationship, and financial wellness.