Understanding Health Care

What is Health Literacy?

Health Literacy is the degree to which a person has the ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Health care literacy and health literacy go hand and hand.  

It is important to be proactive in understanding your health and general health information. Low literacy are linked to poor health outcomes such as higher hospitalization rates and less frequent use of preventative services. This leads to higher health care cost for both people and their employers.  People with limited health literacy skills are more likely to have chronic conditions and are less able to manage them effectively or follow treatment plans. This leads to higher death rates. 

Insurance Summary Plan Description

Choosing where to go when you or a loved one is not feeling well can be difficult. Picking the right care facility will get you the help your need and save you from spending unnecessary money. Below are examples of where you should go depending on the medical problem. Member can also use LiveHealth Online or MDLive for common illnesses such as cold, flu, allergies, rashes, sore throats, and ear aches. 

Primary Care Physician (Doctor)

  • Check-ups and regular screenings
  • General medical and behavior health questions
  • Questions or concerns about medications
  • Cold and flu symptoms
  • Mild fevers
  • Mild to moderate pain or discomfort
  • Management of a chronic conditions

Urgent Care

  • Sprains and strains
  • Mild allergic reactions
  • Mild to moderate asthma symptoms
  • Minor cuts or wounds requiring prompt attention
  • Moderate pain or discomfort
  • Mild burns
  • Animal or insect bites 

Emergency Room

  • Babies needing immediate care
  • Significant difficulty breathing
  • Broken bones
  • Severe pain, especially in the chest or stomach
  • Severe burns
  • Possible drug overdose or poisoning
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm

These services are available to eligible members and their dependents at no cost. If you or your loved ones are not feeling well, you can use the services below to get the proper care when you need it most.

There is not such thing as a “dumb question” when it comes your health and the health of your loved ones. If there is anything you don’t understand or don’t feel comfortable with, talk to your doctor about it. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you have any questions or concerns. Below, you will find suggested questions you can ask your doctor. 

What are my health problems?

What do I need to do?

Why is it important?

What is the drug for?

How do I take it?

Is there a generic version?

Is it covered by my insurance?

What are the side effects? What should I do if I experience them?

How do I store my medication?

How does the medication react with my other prescriptions and over-the-counter medication?

What should I do if I miss a dose?

Are there any activities, foods, or other medications that I should avoid while taking this drug?

Are they any refills? If so, what do I need to do to get them refilled?

How will this medication affect my lifestyle and work?

What is the disease or condition?

How serious is my disease or condition?

How will this disease or condition affect my work and home life?

What is the short-term and long-term prognosis for my disease or condition?

What causes the disease or condition?

Is there more than one disease or condition that could be causing my symptoms?

Should I be tested for a certain disease or condition?

What symptoms should I watch for?

How can I be tested for a disease or condition, and what will these test tell me?

What test will be involved in diagnosing my disease or condition?

How safe and accurate is the test?

When will I know the test’s results?

Will I need more medical tests?

Do I need a follow-up visit and if so, when?

Do I need to take precautions to avoid infecting others?

What are my treatment options?

How long will treatment take?

What is the cost of the treatment?

Which treatment is most common for my disease or condition?

Is there a generic form of my treatment and is it as effective?

What side effects can I expect?

What risks and benefits are associated with the treatment?

What would happen if I didn’t have any treatment?

What would happen if I delay my treatment?

Is there anything I should avoid during treatment?

What should I do if I have side effects?

How will I know if the medication is working?

What would I do if I miss a dose of medication?

 Will my job or lifestyle be affected by the treatment?

Why do I need surgery?

What surgical procedure are you recommending?

Is there more than one way of performing this surgery?

Are there alternatives to surgery?

How much will surgery cost?

What are the benefits of having surgery?

What are the risks of having surgery?

What if I don’t have this surgery?

Where can I get a second option? 

What kind of anesthesia will be used?

How long will it take me to recover?

How will recover effect my life and work?

What are your qualifications?

How much experience do you have performing this surgery?

 How long will I be in the hospital?

The following links provide information about different health problems, treatments, causes, and medications. If you have any questions about a diagnosis or medication, you should always ask your doctor. 

When talking with a non-native English speaker, it is easy to miscommunicate health information due to translation errors.  To find translations of health information documents, visit https://www.healthinfotranslations.org/