Unless your doctor is a policy expert, in healthcare administration, a researcher, an author or blogger, I seriously doubt he will be reviewing an important report card that helps you pick the best health insurance plan that keeps you healthy. Published annually by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), this year’s report card ranks 227 health plans across the country on their ability to keep you healthy and well, treat you quickly, and how patients feel about their insurance coverage.
Because unlike banking or airlines where there is not much difference in ATM machines or planes, there is a big difference in whether a health insurance plan helps in keeping its enrollees healthy. Do children get their vaccinations? Do healthy mothers get screened for breast cancer or cervical cancer with mammograms and pap smears respectively? Do kids only get antibiotics appropriately for strep throat and not overtreated and unnecessarily when they have a viral illness or cold? Are adults over 50 screened for colon cancer (something Dr. Oz can relate to).
You are incredibly busy living life. Your health plan should proactively works with you and remind you to do the right thing? It also helps doctors do the right thing.
Be smart. Be wise this year. Trying to pick a health insurance plan seems easy. They are all the same, right? Simply look at the price.
No. This is different. This isn’t auto insurance. This is your health. You want the best. Choose wisely because your life and those of your family depend on it.
*This blog post was originally published at Saving Money and Surviving the Healthcare Crisis*