Navigating The Healthcare System

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Published on May 08, 2018

Navigating the Healthcare System

image of a maze

image of a mazeLet’s face it. The US healthcare system can be daunting and downright confusing.

PIH Health researched and surveyed community members and business partners about what confuses them most when navigating our nation’s healthcare system. Common responses included too many acronyms, too many medical bills, difficulties choosing the right provider, high out-of-pockets costs, and a difficult-to-understand referral system. To help, PIH Health offers a free class called Navigating the Healthcare Maze: Five Things You Need to Know About Accessing Healthcare (and a Whole Lot More!). The 1.5 hour class includes topics such as how to choose the right insurance coverage for you and your family, understanding medical bills, and useful tips for managing your health.

Class participants learn:

  • The different types of insurance (HMO, PPO, POS)
  • Healthcare acronyms and terms (co-pay, deductible, co-insurance, etc.)
  • Roles of different healthcare providers
  • The 4 parts of Medicare and their meaning
  • Tips for managing healthcare costs
  • Vital information found on their health insurance card
  • Importance of advance directives

In addition, class participants were asked, as a result of the class what they would do differently. Post survey responses included:

  • Review explanation of benefits (EOB) more thoroughly
  • Call health plan to see what healthcare services are covered, and which doctors/hospitals are contracted with their health plan
  • Be more proactive when choosing a health plan, do more research
  • Make sure to stay in-network with current health plan, and check coverage before scheduling appointments
  • Set up patient portal access
  • Carry insurance card at all times

What does navigating the healthcare system mean to the average patient or consumer? It means selecting the right health plan for you. It means choosing the best healthcare service and effectively using those services.

If you’re looking for clarity, this class is for you. To learn more about Navigating the Healthcare Maze and other community health education classes and events, visit or call 562.967.2890.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.