Navigating the health care system is a very different experience as an individual as opposed to a family. Trying to figure out the best way for you to get your medical care is not typically the same thing as finding the right medical care for your family, and needs vary drastically depending on age and gender of the various family members, not to mention how complicated it can be if someone has a disability or a mental illness to contend with as well. Many parents neglect their own medical care on a fairly regular basis but then recognize that they need to focus on their family’s care once they have children. Trying to balance all of these competing priorities in an already complex health care system can be difficult for even the most savvy parent. Here are a few simple ways to help you streamline your efforts and get the best care for you and your family.
- Do some – but not too much – research. By gathering a few things ahead of time, such as a list of recommended vaccinations and the age at which they should be received, you can save yourself a lot of effort down the line. Making sure that you select a pediatrician that is within your health insurer’s network also helps save you money and a lot of hassle, as many do not reimburse for out of network care, or else have much lower reimbursement rates.
- Carefully evaluate your needs. If you are the only female in your family, then you can search for your own gynecologist and not have to worry about your husband or your sons, and instead focus on a good primary care doctor for your husband and an excellent pediatrician for your children. Reading a few reviews and checking out their biographies online can help you narrow down what is probably a large selection. Asking friends and family for recommendations can also help you find someone you already know is trusted by someone that you trust.
- Do not forget to search for a family dentist. Your teeth are typically an afterthought when thinking about health care, but oral health is vitally important to overall physical health. On top of that, a family dentist will help catch problems that when left untreated can become bigger, much more expensive issues with which to contend. Avoiding braces for years can make it that much harder to fix a crooked tooth or a gap after the fact, so regular visits to the family dentist are crucial for every member of the family. Children typically do not love visiting the dentist, so making it fun and rewarding can help ease their discomfort. Additionally, if the only time they visit the dentist is when they are in pain, they are going to have negative associations with it anyway. Help your child learn to appreciate the family dentist by taking them when they are well and rewarding them for good behavior and patience. Your family dentist does a lot more than you think to protect your family’s health, and you want to be sure to take advantage of that.