You know you’re adulting when you’re paying special attention at open enrollment. You’re evaluating that matrix with all the numbers, costs, and health care options to choose from. I am not going to complain. Having healthcare is a luxury. It’s just a lot of work and I manage to stress myself out. My evaluation and decision making process includes thinking about all the “what if’s.” What if I break my leg and I end up in the ER this year? What if I need to have some type of surgery this year? What is the best plan for me? I swear, in my twenties I was invincible and hardly ever went to the doctor’s office and never had to think this hard over a health plan.
I was so focused on making a decision and increased costs that I failed to appreciate the overall value of my plan. Since I was happy with Health Net last year, I ended up selecting a Health Net HMO plan this year. A week later my card arrived. I looked at the card and double checked that everything was correct. My name, address, my copay for doctor’s visits and ER visits. BUT this time…I noticed something different…there’s a new line item, Minute Clinic copay. What is this? At this point, I didn’t bother to check. Well, if you want to save time, money and get immediate attention when you are sick and who does not want all of the above? You need to read this.
Have you ever needed a prescription or medical attention, but your doctor is fully booked? You likely have something you’re prone to (whether it’s an ear infection, UTI, sinusitis, allergies…whatever it may be) and you just need the prescription so that you can get better? Call your very qualified doctor but can’t get an appointment? Let’s face it. Any great doctor is almost always booked. Based on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the worst), your pain and misery level has gone from a 4 to a 10+ in the span of an hour.
Last Friday, I was at a 10+. I was at work and got a terrible infection. Seeing that it was already 2PM, I knew I needed to see my doctor soon or it meant that I would have to go to ER over the weekend. I called my beloved doctor’s office and begged for an appointment.
Me: Pretty please, I need to see him.
Dr’s PA: Sorry, you are going to have to wait until Monday.
Me: Monday?!?!? Sweet Jesus. That’s two days away. I will be dead by then. Can you just have him see me? I can go there right now.*
Dr’s PA: Can you wait…let me see what I can do for you.
Dr’s PA: Yeah, we can’t take you…
Dr’s PA: Yeah, you need to go to Urgent Care if it’s that bad. Good luck.
We all know there is not a single thing urgent about urgent care. I was in pain and before I allowed myself to get pissed, something came over me. I remembered that new line item on my Health Net card, it said, “Minute Clinic.” I quickly googled it and in less than 20 minutes, I was meeting with a Nurse practitioner at a CVS pharmacy (only select locations offer this). She diagnosed me, sent my prescription over to the pharmacy and 15 minutes later, I got my antibiotics. A few days later, they also called me to check in on how I was feeling. How amazing is that?
Sometimes we get so stressed over the cost of healthcare that we forget to educate ourselves of the overall value of what our plan may have to offer us. The best part to this whole story is that it’s a complete win all around. Not only did I save on time, it was just about 30 minutes of my time compared to seeing my doctor which is typically a half day ordeal! This is also much more cost effective since the copay is less than what I would normally have to pay to see my doctor.
The entire process was seamless and convenient since I was able to get personal medical attention in a quick and efficient manner. If you like to save time and money, do yourself the favor and check to see if your health plan includes the minute clinic. As mentioned earlier, my Health Net HMO plan provides a discounted rate for this service, but not all carriers cover this. Also, be proactive about it and find out where your closest Minute Clinic is…you just never know when you’re going to need their services. I am so thankful for CVS’s Minute Clinic and that Health Net covers this service at a discounted rate! Now that I know about this, I’m sure that this isn’t the last time I will be there. (Let’s just hope not any time soon).
I realize that in reading this that it sounds like a sponsored testimony for Health Net and CVS’s Minute Clinic and I assure you, it’s not. As you know, I am new to this whole blogging thing. My goal is to ensure that in sharing my experience, you know what your resources are when you may be in desperate need for simple medical attention.
*Yes, I was being a little dramatic but it’s worked before.
Be well friends.
PS: I am feeling much better.