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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 9:00 AM

HC411R - Health Insurance Booklet

Rand:  This is Healthcare 411.  There’s a new guide to help you choose a health insurance plan.  More, next. 


Voice 1: Why do I need the operation?

Voice 2: Are there alternatives to surgery?

Voice 3: And what are the risks involved?

Announcer: Every year, more than 15 million Americans have surgery.  If you’re considering surgery, you need to make an informed decision.  Ask your doctor to answer questions and explain alternatives clearly. To learn more read the booklet Having Surgery: What You Need To Know found at www.ahrq.gov/consumer. A message from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

[End PSA]

Rand: This is Healthcare411. If you’re considering health insurance for the first time, or changing your insurance plan, a new booklet from AHRQ will help you sort out what you need.   AHRQ Director Dr. Carolyn Clancy

Dr. Clancy:  First consider how much coverage you need.  Are you single or do you have a family?  Do you or a family member have a chronic condition?  You need to look at what coverage you will get for doctors’ visits, surgery, hospital stays or other types of care. You also should find out if your plan will cover prescription drugs, visits to the dentist, or new glasses. 

Rand:  What about the cost of insurance?

Dr. Clancy:  Cost is another important issue.  You need to understand how much you will pay for your coverage in premiums.  How much you’re able or willing to pay each week or month may determine what you will get in benefits.  Another question is:  Will you have to pay a minimum amount for care before your health plan will pay?

Rand: What if I don’t have any choice of health insurance plan?

Dr. Clancy: These are also important issues to understand even if your employer only offers one plan.  Don’t wait until you need emergency care to ask questions.

Rand: For more information, get the booklet Questions and Answers about Health Insurance, available at www.ahrq.gov/consumer.   I’m Rand Gardner.  Healthcare 411 is produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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