The following is sponsored by SelectHealth
Making healthy choices goes beyond a good breakfast or a walk at lunch. Sometimes we need to see a doctor to get or stay healthy. From face-to-face visits to virtual care, how do you know which option is best for your injury or illness?
First, it’s important to know what types of medical care are available on your health insurance plan. You’ll also want to consider the severity of your illness or injury, and—if it’s not an emergency—how much you’re willing to spend. If you’re in the know, you can save a lot of hassle and a little cash by choosing the right type of care.
The options described below are available from SelectHealth®, a not-for-profit, community-based health plan in Utah. If your health insurance is not through SelectHealth, visit your plan’s website to learn more about the care available to you.
Let’s unpack five of the most-common ways to get care, from the lowest-cost, easiest option to those that may require more time and money:
1. Nurse Lines. There are several nurse lines available in Utah. SelectHealth members have access to Intermountain Health Answers®, which is staffed by registered nurses and available 24/7. If you have a simple question or you are unsure what to do, this is a great way to get help determining how and where to get the best care.
2. TeleHealth. This is a relatively new type of care that connects you with a healthcare provider through your smartphone or computer. Intermountain Connect Care® is a convenient way to address concerns such as cough, joint pain/strain, minor burns or rashes, and sinus pain, to name a few. (Tip: Download the app and set up a profile now so that when you’re not feeling well, you’ll be ready to go.)
3. Office Visits. Nothing can take the place of a primary care doctor. This doctor knows your history, can coordinate your care, and is typically available for an appointment faster once you’re an established patient. To save the most money, use a provider search like this one (for SelectHealth members) to find a doctor on your health plan.
4. Urgent Care. If you have a condition that needs care within 24 hours, or you need care before your doctor’s office opens—think late at night with a sick child—you might consider using an urgent care option like Intermountain InstaCare®. Read more about when to choose InstaCare vs. the Emergency Room.
5. Emergency Room. If you have an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. But if you don’t have an emergency, visiting an ER is a costly way to get treatment. It should be reserved only for true emergencies.
Your insurance plan may cover services differently when you are out of the service area, such as when you’re on vacation, so it’s a good idea to get to know their policies. Learn more about how SelectHealth covers various types of care, and when you aren’t sure, don’t be afraid to ask: SelectHealth has a Member Advocates team who can help you find the right doctor and even make an appointment for you.