We have a wide range of choices and options for virtually everything — just get on your phone and start scrolling sites for shoes or car parts, the latest weather forecast or baseball scores.
Many of us don’t realize, though, that this kind of at-your-fingertips access also exists for one of our most critical assets — our health. Technology is helping us to be more involved in our health care decisions than ever.
Do you use your bank’s website or mobile app to see withdrawals and deposits and pay bills? Your health insurance company very likely has similar capabilities for you to track your health care claims, see how close you are to meeting your deductible and what you’ve spent on your family’s medical care.
Do you look online for recommendations and reviews for plumbers, painters or electricians? You can do the same thing when you’re looking for a doctor. Online you can access reviews and quality reports about him or her. If you need a procedure done, like a knee replacement, you can plug that into the website to see who does them, how their patients rated the experience and the price ranges for the procedure.
Additional apps and tools give you access to quality care 24 hours a day, like telehealth. The myBlueHEALTH app connects you with board-certified doctors by phone, tablet or computer. You can get your questions answered, obtain a diagnosis and treatment and have medications prescribed to you, anytime, anywhere.
For Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska members, their online myblue account gives them access to their health plan information whenever they need it. They can also search for doctors and hospitals, read patient reviews and compare procedure costs. Other insurance companies may have similar capabilities.
The more information you have available to you and the easier that information is to understand, the better able you are to make smart decisions about your health care. It’s all just a few clicks away.