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  • Writer's picturePAHA Staff

Your Health Matters: Become Your Own Advocate

Are you dealing with a health issue and feeling like no one is on your side? Are you struggling to get answers? It's time to take charge of your health. Fortunately, there are many ways you can advocate for improved health and well-being. Today, PA Health Advocates outlines a few of them to help you be more proactive in your own wellness.

Your Medical Records and You

Understanding your insurance and what's covered will help you determine available healthcare options. Most insurance companies have toll-free phone numbers. Don't be afraid to call a representative and ask questions. To stay on top of insurance-related issues, keep copies of your medical records and lab work on hand, and review your medical bills for errors.

There are also resources like the self-guided program at Allen Health Academy that teach you how to negotiate medical bills. When hospital debt becomes too overwhelming, the non-profit Dollar For is another support tool that helps families that meet certain income requirements by applying for financial assistance. Hospital financial programs, often referred to as "Charity Care" are not often disclosed to families struggling with medical debt, but are required to be available upon request. Dollar For takes the reigns and fights for a consumer's rights.

Your Provider and You

If your doctor diagnoses you with a medical condition, ask questions. You're paying him for his expertise, and it's your right. If you disagree with him, seek out a second opinion. Your insurance company website will list providers and specialists in your network. If you need support, take along a trusted friend or family member to your appointment. Also, the Affordable Care Act offers free preventive care to those who qualify. Many routine exams are covered. In addition, family planning services and prenatal care may be available.

Adopting a Healthier Lifestyle

You can take control of your health by developing and implementing a healthier lifestyle. The American Heart Association notes that increasing physical activity can add years to your life. Become more active by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or, if you work, take a walk on your lunch break.

Maintaining a healthy weight will decrease the chance of developing many illnesses. Heart disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes are a few. In addition, you'll have more energy and less pressure on your joints.

A healthy diet will help you obtain an ideal weight and will also ward off many diseases. You'll sleep better and have more energy. In addition, proper nutrition can increase both focus and brain function.

Senior Housing Options

Maintaining a home can be burdensome for seniors, especially when combined with health problems. When you decide you need help, there are likely many senior living facility options in your area. However, as the Hebrew SeniorLife Blog explains, there is a difference between skilled living facilities and nursing homes. Skilled living facilities offer services such as rehab, wound care, and IV therapy. For many, a skilled living stay is short-term to improve health so they can return home and continue living independently.

If you have a serious medical condition that requires 24/7 care or that is too difficult for you to manage at home, it may be time to consider a nursing home. Before choosing a facility, research costs, and available payment options. In addition, reading online reviews and detailed facility reports will aid you in making an educated decision.

Health Is Wealth

Advocating for your own health isn't always easy. Sometimes, change is necessary to obtain your best physical health and overall well-being. This change can be scary but in the long run, it’s absolutely essential to helping you feel your best.

PA Health Advocates handles health insurance so you can do the fun stuff. Questions? Please email

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