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How Prepared Are You for a Serious Health Event?

A medical emergency can happen at any time, and it is important that you are able to act quickly and effectively when it does. A key step in being ready for a serious health event is understanding your health plan and other available benefits and how to best utilize them. The following considerations will help you prepare.

In-network Providers

Look into which providers are in-network to reduce health care costs. Before seeing a new doctor, review your health insurance policy and determine which providers are covered by your health plan.

It is also a good idea to know which of your area’s hospitals and doctors your plan covers and provide this information to your employer, your children’s school, and emergency contacts. This can prevent excess costs in a situation in which you may not be able to decide the best place for you or your family member to receive medical care. However, in the event of an emergency, do not hesitate to seek necessary care even if you are unsure whether the provider is in-network—safety comes first.

The Emergency Room Versus Urgent Care

Knowing which providers are in-network is just as important as knowing where to seek treatment when you need it. If you have a serious, life-threatening injury, go to the emergency room (ER). Conditions such as chest pain and loss of consciousness warrant a trip to the ER rather than urgent care. On the other hand, if you have a smaller, nonserious injury, you should go to urgent care. A minor accident, sprain, or laceration are all things that can be handled at urgent care for a lower cost.

Supplemental Health Plans

Supplemental health plans are another way to help fund medical care in the event a serious health problem arises. According to a report by Ipsos, more than 70% of the 1,000 adults surveyed said that having a supplemental health plan made unexpected health events more affordable. Consider speaking with your employer about supplemental health plan options that may be available to you.

List of Medications

Preparedness can prevent accidents from occurring during an emergency. If you are rushed to the ER and issued a medication that conflicts with one you are already taking, it could be very dangerous and end up costing you more to remedy this issue. To avoid these types of accidents, carry a list of medications you take regularly. It is also smart to carry a list of medications and substances to which you are allergic. If treating physicians have access to this information during an emergency, there is less of a chance an expensive and potentially life-threatening accident will occur.


Knowing your health insurance plan’s limitations allows you to better plan for an emergency should one occur. Waiting until a serious health event occurs before understanding your benefits and the basics of health care can be very costly, so it is vital to prepare beforehand.

At RCB & Associates, we are happy to compare insurance plans with you and make sure you have the best coverage for your needs!


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