Welcome to the ASRS Health Care Blog…

An ASRS staff authored page where we publish articles about current health care topics and answer questions from the perspective of our ASRS Members.

The intention of this blog is to introduce real situations and questions that we encounter as patients in the health care world today. ASRS staff members engage with the ASRS Health Care Administrator, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) to find answers, provide information, offer solutions to problems, and clear up confusion related to navigating the Health Insurance Industry. The more we know about how to use our health benefits, the more ASRS retirees and their caretakers can maximize their benefit of the ASRS Health Care Plans.

Managing health can be complicated and although we may not realize it, managing and maintaining health requires a series of strategic decisions that we have to make as patients every day. These all include factors we have to prioritize and organize into action in order to take care of ourselves.

What kind of decision making factors will we cover?

Factors like cost, available resources, and research. We will explore tools and programs available to ASRS health plan participants that help you understand these factors and prioritize them for your needs so you can maximize the utilization of these available benefits. We will talk about who to call when you have questions, and what questions to consider when you need to make a decision about how to use your health care benefits.

These decisions often lead to questions like ‘How do I find a Primary Care Physician in my network?’ and, ‘How much will that procedure cost me out-of-pocket?’ and, ‘My doctor ordered a procedure, but how do I know if it’s covered under my benefit plan?’ or, ‘What if I travel for a few months, will I have coverage while I am out of state?’ or, ‘What if I need to find a specialist, how do I do that?’ and, ‘Why is United Health Care calling to ask me personal information and telling me about benefit options?’ All these questions are directly connected with our lives. Managing budget, planning travel, scheduling events and remembering to include that annual physical for preventive health care are all examples of how we have to incorporate decisions about our health into our everyday lives. Even receiving a phone call from your health insurance company discussing sensitive information can be confusing or scary if you don’t understand the purpose for the call.

This is why in these articles, we will explore case specific questions all the way to aspects of a well-rounded, basic understanding of how these decision making factors impact us from a patient’s perspective and what we can do, as patients, to utilize health benefits, become an advocate for better health, and make that impact a more positive one!

Ready? Go back to the main Healthcare Blog page and click on any of the article topics on the left!

by Courtney Micheau, Member Services

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