Your Source for Health Reform

Topic: Patient Info


You’ve got health insurance, now what? People who are newly covered may need assistance in learning how to use their benefits and how to stay healthy.


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Culturally Competent Patient Care

This course from the Department of Health and Human Services outlines steps to engage with patients of different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds in a respectful manner. Physicians and physician assistants can receive up to nine continuing medical education credits and nurse practitioners can receive up to nine contact hours after completing the course.

Your Personal Guide to Better Health

This interactive guide provides users with personalized tools based on their self-rated health confidence and geographic location. The core feature is an interactive “full health checkup”. Other tools include tips for staying well, solving problems and making health-related decisions, as well as lists of readings, useful links and risk information. The feature is one of the “HowsYourHealth” family of tools provided by Dartmouth College.

How to Find the Right Doctor

Now that you have new health insurance, it is time to choose a doctor to help you get the most of your benefits. Be Covered helps explain multiple factors to make an effective healthcare provider choice in this tip sheet.

Take Advantage of Preventive Care Services

New health insurance covers many preventive health services for your family. Preventive check-ups and screenings can help end illnesses and medical problems early — and improve the health of you and everyone in your family. Be Covered Illinois provides information on what preventive screenings you can access with no out-of-pocket costs even before you meet your deductible.

What to Do After You Buy Health Insurance

This Families USA fact sheet gives the basics of getting to know your benefits, paying premiums, finding providers, and how to get questions answered about health insurance.

Medicaid FAQ: Eligibility and Accessing Medical Services

These frequently asked questions from the Illinois Department of Human Services detail how to sign up for Medicaid and All Kids, how to access medical providers like a primary care physician or dentist under Medicaid, what to do if you have lost or did not receive a medical card, and what services are provided under Medicaid. The FAQ provides contact info to address issues and access needed care.

Evaluating a Nursing Facility

Medicare beneficiaries often need further care in a nursing facility after discharge from the hospital, but patients and families are often unhappy with these placements. This in-depth guide to finding and choosing a facility was created by the Center for Medicare Advocacy to help families locate facilities in specific geographic areas, compare services and ratings, and consider alternatives to a nursing facility.

From Coverage to Care: Using your Health Insurance

This step-by-step guide from CMS walks patients through what having health insurance means, how to use your card, what to look for in a provider that works for you, and how to keep regular healthcare visits. The guide also includes a checklist to keep track of health care screens and visits.

Medical Referrals: What Patients Should Know

This patient-information page from Tufts Health Plan explains the process and reasoning for a medical referral, starting with a visit to a primary care physician and ending with a consultation with a specialist. Although this information is provided from a specific health plan, it is applicable to a wide variety of health plans and referral processes.

Heart Disease and Health Care Reform

This page on the American Heart Association site helps consumers with cardiovascular disease or stroke history understand what they need to know regarding health care reform. Sections also discuss heart disease as it relates to women and minorities.

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