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Find A Doctor Or Hospital In Your Network.
By Joseph R. Cunningham, M.D.
You may have seen recent news about rising health care costs, which have a ripple effect on our economy. Prescription drug prices continue to go up, and many people use the emergency room every time they’re sick or injured, even though that’s the most expensive way to receive care. Those with chronic health conditions may require extensive care, so even if you’re healthy, your premiums are combined with those of other members to cover costs for everyone.
How, when and where people use their private health insurance are a few of the factors insurance companies use to determine premiums. Private health insurers help manage their members’ health care expenses by negotiating contracts with hospitals, clinics and providers. These contracts are mutually beneficial for all parties to help keep out-of-pocket expenses and premiums affordable for consumers.
If you’ve received care in the last few years, you know that hospital bills can be shocking. Expenses can add up quickly and may create financial hardships for families. During these uncertain times, when many Oklahomans are out of work and businesses are struggling, all of us can play a part in lowering the cost of health care.
How can you help? Understand your health care benefits and know where to go for in-network care. Research hospitals and procedures to better determine your out-of-pocket expenses. Ask your doctor or hospital administrator about the costs associated with your medical treatment to set expectations. Read your Explanation of Benefits documents and contact customer service if you have questions. Find available resources provided by your health insurance company to lower your health care costs. If you are a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma member, you can access cost-saving resources and tools in the Blue Access for MembersSM (BAMSM) portal.
It takes all of us to make our health care system work better, and we’re in this together.
Joseph R. Cunningham, M.D. is the president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company.
(For more Office Visit columns by Dr. Cunningham, visit The Journal Record.)
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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