Health insurance and horse sense: taking care of your health

By Megg Mueller on December 7th, 2010

The latest trend in health care, aside from complaining about it, is DIY. Preventive care is all the rage, with health care reform mandating new levels of screenings and care, and people trying to save every dollar they can by avoiding visits to doctor's offices. The time to take your health care into your own hands has never been better.

Free preventative care for workers

In September, a new health care law went into effect that renders a number of traditionally costly preventive screenings free. According to a story in the Los Angeles Times, there will be no co-pay or deductible for things like mammograms, colonoscopies, diabetes and hypertension screenings, and in some cases even for routine checkups.

Most people with group insurance will notice these changes as they go through their open enrollment period, and while some health insurance companies have started covering these screenings now, most changes will be seen by healthcare consumers on Jan. 1.

Are home remedies a good substitute?

Even with health insurance covering free screenings, the truth is that people still don't like to go to the doctor. And while there are cases where medical treatment is necessary, the DIY healthcare wave has prompted the Mayo Clinic to come out with a new book aimed at helping people take measures to prevent illness in the first place.

The Book of Home Remedies is a guide to treating more than 100 common ailments, from allergies to heartburn, without making a trip to see a doctor. USA Today reports that while people are trying to take a more a proactive stance concerning their health care today, one of the major reasons for publishing this book was to help people combat the rising cost of medical care, with or without health insurance.

Whether you decide to take control of your health by having an apple a day, taking baths to help avoid insomnia, or getting a battery of diagnostic tests to determine what ails you, the options are now squarely in your court.

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