1. Put Your Health First
- Staying healthy is important for you and your family.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle at home, at work, and in the community.
- Get your recommended health screenings and manage chronic conditions.
- Keep all of your health information in one place.
2. Understanding Your Health Coverage
- Check with your insurance plan or state Medicaid or CHIP program to see what services are covered.
- Be familiar with your costs (premiums, copayments, deductibles, co-insurance).
- Know the difference between in-network and out-of-network.
3. Know Where to Go for Care
- Use the emergency department for a life threatening situation.
- Primary care is preferred when it’s not an emergency.
- Know the difference between primary care and emergency care.
4. Find a provider
- Ask people you trust and/or do research on the internet.
- Check your plan’s list of providers.
- If you're assigned a provider, contact your plan if you want to change.
- If you're enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP, contact your state Medicaid or CHIP program for help.
5. Make an Appointment
- Mention if you’re a new patient or have been there before.
- Give the name of your insurance plan and ask if they take your insurance.
- Tell them the name of the provider you want to see and why you want an appointment.
- Ask for days or times that work for you.
6. Be Prepared for Your Visit
- Have your insurance card with you.
- Know your family health history and make a list of any medicines you take.
- Bring a list of questions and things to discuss, and take notes during your visit.
- Bring someone with you to help if you need it.
7. Decide if the Provider is Right for You
- Did you feel comfortable with the provider you saw?
- Were you able to communicate with and understand your provider?
- Did you feel like you and your provider could make good decisions together?
- Remember: it is okay to change to a different provider!
8. Next Steps After Your Appointment
- Follow your provider’s instructions.
- Fill any prescriptions you were given, and take them as directed.
- Schedule a follow-up visit if you need one.
- Review your explanation of benefits and pay your medical bills.
- Contact your provider, health plan, or the state Medicaid or CHIP agency with any questions.
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