It is something that we seek when we receive negative news that concerns our health. Widely regarded as an important step of the research process, getting a second medical opinion appears to be a pragmatic way to address a health issue. However, most of us do not try to get more information about a diagnosed medical condition or a recommended type of treatment program.
According to Harvard Health, a whopping 70 percent of Americans do not get a second opinion when it involves a health issue. Although there are several possible reasons why we do not try to get more information about a healthcare diagnosis or the recommendation of a certain treatment program, one reason stands out among the rest.
We do not think getting a second medical opinion is covered by our health insurance plan.
Buying a health insurance policy is one of the most important financial investments that we make in life. Health insurance acts as a safety net whenever we go through a rough period regarding the status of our health. It also has become one of the most effective ways to implement preventive healthcare measures. Nonetheless, when we purchase a health insurance policy, most of us do not factor in the ramification of seeking additional advice concerning a healthcare issue.
Receiving a second opinion is an important step for many reasons and for most of us, getting one should not cost any more money than it costs to seek a first medical opinion.
Why Should I Seek a Second Medical Opinion?
What are the benefits of obtaining a second medical opinion? The most common reason to get a second medical opinion involves learning more about a health condition. For example, let’s assume you received a diagnosis for a medical condition that you do not understand. Getting a second medical opinion can help clarify the symptoms associated with the medical condition, as well as provide insight into how to improve your health by implementing certain strategies.
Acquiring more information about a medical condition is just one reason why you should consider seeking a second medical opinion.
First, getting a second medical opinion can improve the outcome of your condition. This includes gaining more knowledge that allows you to make better-informed decisions. Second, you can receive a confirmation about the accuracy of a diagnosis. Third, you receive more treatment options, which is especially important if your healthcare provider recommends an invasive surgical procedure. Finally, receiving a second medical opinion gives you peace of mind knowing that you are about to make the right decision concerning your health.
When Should I Seek a Second Medical Opinion?
Knowing why you should get a second medical opinion differs from knowing when the time has come to receive more information about your health status. One thing is for sure: If you require an emergency medical procedure, do not wait for a second medical opinion if your life is at risk because of delaying medical care.
If you receive a diagnosis that leaves more questions unanswered than answered, then getting a second medical opinion might help you resolve difficult-to-understand healthcare issues. Receiving a diagnosis for a rare and/or life-threatening medical condition warrants asking another healthcare provider for more information regarding your health status. Many medical conditions come with several treatment options that vary in cost, which means a second medical opinion can help determine the most cost-effective treatment option. For some health insurance plans, asking for a second medical opinion for specific healthcare situations is a required part of the process of receiving proper care.
How Do I Find a Healthcare Provider to Give a Second Medical Opinion?
Some health insurance plans present a list of options for seeking a second medical opinion. However, most of us are left on our own to find the right source for an additional opinion concerning the status of our health.
Asking your primary healthcare provider for a referral might seem counterintuitive because it might damage the relationship you have developed with the healthcare provider. However, many primary care physicians not only accept getting a second medical opinion as one of the facts of doing business, but they encourage patients to get more information to boost their confidence when the time comes to make an important healthcare decision. Networking represents an effective way to connect with a second healthcare provider. Conducting research online helps you obtain information that discusses a physician’s area of expertise, as well as the physician’s reputation for delivering quality healthcare services.
Review your health insurance policy to see if it provides information about how to get a second medical opinion.
Does My Health Insurance Plan Cover a Second Medical Opinion?
It is not considered one of the most important elements of investing in a health insurance plan, but it should be one of the priorities when you shop for the best health insurance coverage. Many health insurance plans offer coverage for policyholders that want to receive a second medical opinion. The description of the coverage for a second medical opinion typically is tucked into the fine print of a policy. Ask your health insurance representative to describe the option of getting a second medical opinion, as well as how much of the cost you have to pay for it to happen.
After you get a second medical opinion, you should feel informed enough to address any type of healthcare issue.
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