Tips for Deciding Whether to Change Healthcare Plans

Tips for Deciding Whether to Change Healthcare Plans
In November, many of us decide whether to keep our current healthcare plan or make a change. I’m relatively happy with the HMO I have. My husband, who has been with a different HMO for the past three years, has been researching other options.  Together, we’ve learned what is available in our geographic area, and have determined the factors of a healthcare plan that are most important to each of us. I’ve realized that the deciding factors for someone with fibromyalgia may be quite different from a person who doesn't have it.  For example, an important issue for me is the ease and speed with which referrals are made. Those of us who are frequent consumers of healthcare know that primary care physicians have been treating fewer and fewer conditions and making more and more referrals. When those conditions are frequently accompanied by acute pain, a wait of several weeks can be a nightmare.  With my current HMO, my wait has been as short as a couple of hours and typically less than a week. With my husband’s HMO, the wait is commonly 6-7 weeks. This is where the difference comes in. Because his health issues are different from mine, and because he has a high pain tolerance, he often is content to wait.  Regardless of what health plan you choose, knowing your rights is important. In Californi
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