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How to Face a Costly Medical Procedure

DoctorSurgeryMoney_400When your doctor suggests a procedure that is not covered by insurance, your out-of-pocket cost may be shocking. What can you do to regain control of the situation? There are several steps to take, the first one being to get a second opinion. Read all about the others in Your Best Health Care Now: Get Doctor Discounts, Save With Better Health Insurance, Find Affordable Prescriptions.

Do not feel embarrassed about telling your doctor that you want another opinion. If he’s suggesting a costly procedure, he feels that you’re facing a serious concern, so neither of you want to make a mistake.

In my opinion, your doctor should volunteer to help you identify that second doctor—and a third one if you need a tiebreaker—just as Maggie Murphy’s doctor did when Maggie was considering whether to have a double mastectomy. (For Maggie’s story, see chapter 9 in my book, “Pink Confusion: When Should Women Get Screened for Breast Cancer?”)

If your doctor isn’t helpful, take that as a sign that you may not have the level of primary care physician you need. You want a quarterback, like I have. He should know you well enough to call the next play. But he also should give you time in the huddle with him to discuss his call and decide whether you want to run that route or not.

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