The Affordable Care Act and You: More Resources
This is a subject that is not going away anytime soon. Not for politicians. Not for women. Not for men. Not for anyone. While I sincerely hope the new healthcare law will ultimately help those it is intended to help. I also believe it is going to make an already difficult system for women in perimenopause to navigate even more difficult.
I am a firm believer in self-empowerment, and I also firmly believe that empowerment comes from knowledge and education. As much as I wish I could personally accompany all of you each time you might seek care for your perimenopause symptoms, I just can’t. But I can give you the resources and information so that you can effectively advocate for yourself.
In one of my last posts, I told you about the book The Empowered Patient: How to get the Right Diagnosis, Buy the Cheapest Drugs, Beat Your Insurance Company, and Get the Best Medical Care Every Time by Elizabeth Cohen. I suggested you buy the book. I’m suggesting it again, and here’s why: the major feature of the Affordable Care Act is that every American should be covered by health insurance.
And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there is a wee bit of controversy going on right now regarding health insurance companies, health insurance rates, and the types of medical services which will be covered by health insurance as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
So call me cynical, but after the dust settles from all of the political haranguing around who gets health insurance and for how much, I just can’t see how any of it is going to turn out well for the average healthcare consumer – i.e., you and me. Which is why I love this book and think that every healthcare consumer should have a copy of it.
You’re going to need it.
Another important title I believe every healthcare consumer should add to their library of “books that empower me” is When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests, by Doctors Leana Wen and Joshua Kosowsky. It is a newly published title (2013), and addresses many of the frustrating problems patients often encounter when going to their doctor: cookbook medicine; the inability of the patient to communicate effectively to the doctor; and my personal favorite, not feeling comfortable enough to question your physician and diagnoses.
Clearly, physicians are also aware of the problems in our system, given that two of them have taken the time to write this book. I think it’s an excellent book written from the perspective of a physician, to balance against The Empowered Patient, which is written from the perspective of a patient.
How Doctors Think, by Dr. Jerome Groopman, is a title that is a bit more academic, but don’t let that scare you—it’s very easy to read and is written for the layperson. It does an excellent job in revealing exactly how doctors think, why they often err in their snap diagnoses, and what we, the patient and healthcare consumer, can do to avoid misdiagnoses, to communicate more effectively, and ultimately get the kind of healthcare we want.
Like so much of our economy, it is women who are the primary consumers of healthcare. And let there be no doubt, women in perimenopause experience untold frustrations, not only in trying to be heard by their physicians, but also in trying to get the kind of care they want and need.
I firmly believe that in the coming months and years, it will be the savvy patient—the patient who is informed and knowledgeable—who will be able to successfully navigate the system. So, by all means, ladies, let that patient be you!
Magnolia Miller is a certified healthcare consumer advocate in women's health and a women's freelance health writer and blogger at The Perimenopause Blog.
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