Benefits Enrollment & Reference Guide - Harford County Public ...

Benefits Enrollment & Reference Guide - Harford County Public ...

Be an Informed Healthcare Consumer

Most people are not accustomed to questioning

their doctors about the insurance plans they

accept, or the cost and medical necessity of a

treatment. Knowing what questions to ask and

when to ask them makes the process much easier

and less stressful! Asking questions of your

healthcare providers helps maintain both the cost

and quality of your healthcare. So it’s important

for everyone, regardless of the healthcare option

elected, to ask about the medical necessity of any

treatment and if there are alternatives to consider.

Here are some tips to help you become a good

healthcare consumer:

Ask your provider or his/her business office if

they accept your HCPS healthcare plan. If they do,

evaluate what plan is best for you.

Make notes in advance of your office visit about

the things you want to ask your doctor. Keep a list

of any symptoms you have had or are currently

experiencing. Keep a list of the medications you

take, whether prescriptions or over the counter.

Share the list with all healthcare providers.

Bring a spouse or friend along with you...chances

are if you don’t recall something that was said, he

or she will!

Bring a pad and pencil to the doctor’s office; don’t

rely on your memory for everything!

If your doctor uses a term that you do not

understand, ask what it means and ask that it be

spelled. Then, write it down and do some more

research once you leave the office.

Get a copy of any test results.

If your doctor writes a prescription for you, ask

your doctor and pharmacist about interactions

with other drugs you may be taking or about side

effects that you may experience. Remember, if you

are taking any maintenance medications, request

one prescription for a 30-day supply from a retail

pharmacy and another prescription for mail-order.

(for up to a 90-day supply, plus up to three refills).

If you have access to the Internet, use it to learn

about your medications or illnesses. The Internet has

excellent information on many health-related subjects.

One respected resource is

Ask your physician which web-sites they believe are

valuable. Be sure to let your physician know your


Visit or to link to our

healthcare vendors’ websites for more resources.

Check the vendor websites for details on providers

and other useful information.

Harford County Public Schools – Benefits Enrollment & Reference Guide 7

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