1. Put Your Health First

  • Staying healthy is important for you and your family.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle at home, at work, and in the community.
  • Get your recommended health screenings and manage chronic conditions.
  • Keep all of your health information in one place.

2. Understanding Your Health Coverage

  • Check with your insurance plan or state Medicaid or CHIP program to see what services are covered.
  • Be familiar with your costs (premiums, copayments, deductibles, co-insurance).
  • Know the difference between in-network and out-of-network.

3. Know Where to Go for Care

  • Use the emergency department for a life threatening situation.
  • Primary care is preferred when it’s not an emergency.
  • Know the difference between primary care and emergency care.

4. Find a provider

  • Ask people you trust and/or do research on the internet.
  • Check your plan’s list of providers.
  • If you're assigned a provider, contact your plan if you want to change.
  • If you're enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP, contact your state Medicaid or CHIP program for help.

5. Make an Appointment

  • Mention if you’re a new patient or have been there before.
  • Give the name of your insurance plan and ask if they take your insurance.
  • Tell them the name of the provider you want to see and why you want an appointment.
  • Ask for days or times that work for you.

6. Be Prepared for Your Visit

  • Have your insurance card with you.
  • Know your family health history and make a list of any medicines you take.
  • Bring a list of questions and things to discuss, and take notes during your visit.
  • Bring someone with you to help if you need it.

7. Decide if the Provider is Right for You

  • Did you feel comfortable with the provider you saw?
  • Were you able to communicate with and understand your provider?
  • Did you feel like you and your provider could make good decisions together?
  • Remember: it is okay to change to a different provider!

8. Next Steps After Your Appointment

  • Follow your provider’s instructions.
  • Fill any prescriptions you were given, and take them as directed.
  • Schedule a follow-up visit if you need one.
  • Review your explanation of benefits and pay your medical bills.
  • Contact your provider, health plan, or the state Medicaid or CHIP agency with any questions.



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