by Courtney Jones, Care Advisor
CBS News recently reported a staggering statistic: “…just over half of Americans have put off some sort of [health]care because of the cost.”
But there are ways to take care of your health without breaking the bank. As insurance companies raise premiums and lower coverage, affordable alternatives like do-it-yourself blood tests and private, online tests are gaining traction…not to mention greater flexibility to choose the testing option that’s best for you in terms of cost, convenience and turnaround time. (Of course, if you test positive for an STD or other condition, you should still consult a doctor.)
With fewer and fewer employers offering health benefits – and those that do offer benefits paying more and getting less – affordable, routine healthcare can be hard to come by. Online testing eliminates the so-called middle man and allows you to test for exactly what you need, when you need it, at a fraction of the cost.
A lab test through your doctor generally requires a doctor’s visit to order the test; then there’s the cost of the lab and often another doctor’s visit to review your test results. Testing online is much simpler…you order the test online, go to a lab near you and, if needed, see your doctor with your test results in-hand. Not only do you save time and money, but you also avoid being potentially flagged by your insurance company for “engaging in high-risk behavior” or testing positive for a possibly costly, chronic condition.
Even more important, however, is the freedom and opportunity to take charge of your own health. National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day – which recognizes the impact of HIV/AIDS on American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians, specifically – is another timely reminder of how important it is to get tested for HIV and other STDs.
Depending on your risk factors, regular testing is key to lowering infection rates…but if you plan to get tested online, do your homework. Be sure that real doctors stand behind the testing service, and that you’ll be offered a consultation with a doctor if you test positive for an STD or other condition.
Bottom line, don’t put off taking care of yourself. There are resources and alternatives available to help you be smart about healthcare.
HIV cases surging on the Nation
“According to reports from the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, the number of new cases of HIV diagnosed per year in IHS hospitals and health clinics has more than doubled in the last decade.”