Point-of-service (POS) plansare options offered by many HMOs in which you can see aspecialist or a physician outside the plan, but you will have to pay most or all of the cost unless your primary care physician referred you.Many managed care plans try to reduce costs over the long term by paying for routine preventive care, such as regular checkups and screening tests and prenatal care; they may also encourage prevention by offering health education and lifestyle modification programs for members.Government Programs
Americans aged 65 and over and younger people with certain disabilities can be covered by Medicare, a federal health insurance program that helps pay for hospitalization, physician services, and prescription drugs. As a result of limits placed on payments, however, some physicians and managed care programs have stopped accepting Medicare patients. Medicaidis ajoint federal–state health insurance program that covers some low-income people, especially children, pregnant women, and people with certain disabilities. The number of people and the number and cost of services covered by government programs has grown in recent years, challenging the ability of these programs to provide needed coverage.TIPS FOR TODAY AND THE FUTUREMost of the time, you can take care of yourself without consulting a health care provider. When you need professional care, you can still take responsibility for yourself by making informed decisions.RIGHT NOW YOU CAN:Make sure that you have enough of your prescription medications on hand and that your prescriptions are up-to-date.If you take any supplements (dietary or herbal), ask your pharmacist if they can interact with any prescription drugs you are taking.Stock your home and car with basic first aid supplies.IN THE FUTURE YOU CAN:Use professional and authoritative internet resources to thoroughly research complementary or alternative medical treatments you are using or considering to make sure they are considered safe and effective.Review your medical insurance needs by checking your coverage under your parents’ or guardians’ policy if you are under age 26 or by checking your state’s online health insurance exchange, and contact your insurance agent if you have questions about your coverage.S U M M A R YInformed self-care requires knowing how to evaluate symptoms. You should see a physician if symptoms are severe, unusual, persistent, or recurrent.Self-treatment doesn’t necessarily require medication, but over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can be a helpful part of self-care.Conventional medicine is characterized by a focus on the physical causes of disease, the identification of signs and symptoms, the use of drugs and surgery for treatment, and the use of scientific thinking and research to understand diseases.
Conventional practitioners include medical doctors, doctors of osteopathic medicine, podiatrists, optometrists, and dentists, as well as other highly trained professionals.