Take control of your health journey and be your own health advocate

For the most part, no one knows you better than you – especially when it comes to your health and how you are feeling every day. So, it makes sense that, as long as you are able, you stand up as your own health advocate.

This means you need to take charge, ask questions, follow instructions, share your concerns and work with your doctor to make the decisions that are best for your health goals.

Here are some other tips to stay in control and keep your health top of mind.

Maintain your medical records. Your medical records can help you track your appointments and review past prescriptions, test results and doctors' notes. These will also allow you to keep a close eye on medical bills to review for errors. You can do a lot of this through the Elixir Member portal. Log in to view your Explanations of Benefits, overall pharmacy benefits, prescription history and more. All your data in one convenient place.

Know your rights as a patient. Make sure you understand your right to refuse treatment, the right to access your medical records, and the right to choose your own doctor.

Understand your insurance coverage. Even though Medicare is your primary payer, do you know if…Do you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or secondary payer? What are your premiums or copays? Do you have any clauses in your plan? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you should ask.

Live a healthy lifestyle. The healthier you are, the more independent of a life you'll be able to lead. So, eat balanced meals and those fruits and vegetables, drink enough water and exercise as you can.

Communicate clearly and concisely. Work with your health care providers to understand what you need to do for your health but to also explain what is going on with your health. Also, keep your primary support system – family and friends – updated so they can help as needed. 

Think about your future. Do you find caring for your home too much of a chore? Maybe it's time to downsize. Have you thought about what you would do if you needed skilled care? Look at your options, from in-home non-medical care to skilled nursing and even facilities that provide different levels of care. Planning will help you understand what you want and how to afford it and will take the stress out of making a last-minute decision.

Use available resources. Even as your own health advocate, you don’t have to do it alone. There are many support groups, online forums, and educational materials available to help you navigate your care. You can also simplify your life with resources such as the Elixir Member Portal to view your pharmacy data and Elixir Mail Order to get your prescriptions right at your door.

These tips can help you become a successful health advocate and feel more confident about your choices.



Villeza, Marie. (2022, December 22) Becoming your Own Health Advocate – Essential Tips for Older Adults. LTC News. Retrieved on May 16, 2023 from https://www.ltcnews.com/articles/becoming-your-own-health-advocate

Berstein, Sara. (2023, April) Be Your Own Health Advocate. WebMD. Retrieved on May 16, 2023 from https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/aging-health-advocate


Topics: Helpful Tips