It’s your right to understand your health conditions, your treatment options, and what your doctor tells you about your care. When you don’t, you can’t take a leading role in your overall health.

Remember these three things:

  1. Know how to get the health information you need
  2. Understand the information you get
  3. Be able to make the best decisions based on the information you have

Getting information

  • Make sure you have reliable resources to manage your health.
  • Read the plan materials you get from us to know what your benefits are.
  • Ask your doctor questions about your health.
  • Take notes at your doctor appointments.

Understanding information

If you can’t make sense of information, then you can’t use it.

  • Call us if you need help knowing your benefits and what you must do to get the care you need.
  • Ask your doctor to state instructions clearly. It’s OK if you need your doctor to repeat things. Medical terms can be hard to understand.
  • Ask your doctor to explain things in the simplest way or in a different way. Would pictures help? Would it help to have a brochure or booklet that you can take time to read? Would you prefer to watch a video? Everyone takes in information in different ways. Tell your doctor the ways that work for you.

Making the best decisions for you

  • Be honest with your doctors about your health, because doing so helps your doctors know what treatment options or screening measures to recommend for you.
  • You are responsible, too, for making sure your doctors have an accurate history of your health.
  • Help your doctors help you by giving them important details, asking questions and following through on your care. This is taking a leading role in your health and well-being.

For how to make the most of your doctor visits, see Waiting to See Your Doctor at Use the Search field at the top to find the article.

Social Factors Can Affect Your Health, Too

Some things that you can’t control may also have an impact on your health. For instance, where you live, your environment and not having health care or other essentials nearby can harm your health in direct or indirect ways. Let your doctor know if you have concerns about your housing, your neighborhood, being able to get healthy foods from grocery stores near you, your emotions, money, or anything else that might be causing you stress or anxiety. It’s important that your doctor knows about these things to have the whole picture when considering your care and well-being.