Consumerism, the word makes me cringe. As a minimalist, the idea of too much stuff makes me anxious. As a lover of our environment, the idea sounds irresponsible and as someone who values stability and personal responsibility, the idea of consumerism sounds like it would fiscally irresponsible for me. For many of us the idea of consumerism probably sparks some discomfort or negativity but in the case of healthcare, consumerism is a good thing.
Healthcare consumerism means people “proactively using trustworthy, relevant information and appropriate technology to make better-informed decisions about their health care options in the broadest sense, both within and outside the clinical setting” (Carman, Lawrence & Siegel, 2019). Being proactive and informed….now that sounds empowering. That is something I can get behind. But how can we become better consumers of our healthcare?
There are three, primary actions we can take:
- Make the most of your medical appointments by being prepared. Check out these tips from the Dartmouth Center for Shared Decision Making.
- Take personal responsibility for your self-care behaviors: Our health is largely determined by the seemingly small behaviors we engage in every day. In Vermont, three behaviors (poor diet, lack of physical activity and tobacco use) lead to four diseases (type II diabetes, cancer, heart disease & stroke and lung disease) that are responsible for 50% of all deaths.
- Take advantage of tools to support your decision making. For our Cigna members, check out this video developed by our Cigna Engagement Specialist, Mari Walsh. It will walk you through all the cost comparison/cost containment tools available to help you make the most informed and fiscally sound decisions.
Being better consumers of healthcare, like anything, comes down to commitment and practice. Choose to be prepared, to take responsibility and to use the tools available to you to help you be successful. You have got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Employee Assistance Programs, or EAPs, have been around since the 1950s and to this day remain one of the most underutilized resources provided by employers. EAPs began out of a need to address alcohol related issues in the workplace but today’s EAP programs are so much more. Today, EAPs address not only substance use and abuse but also behavioral and mental health, wellness promotion, and life event management. EAP services are delivered at no cost to employees and all household members by via phone, video-based counseling, online chatting, email or face-to-face. Services are completely confidential which means that no one, not your supervisor, manager or human resources team will know that you have accessed the service. Continue reading EAP…One of the most misunderstood resources you might be missing out on
We hear you and Cigna has you covered. The Cigna Telehealth benefit, offered through AmWell and MDLive, enables our Cigna members to see a medical professional right from your home or office. To access this amazing service, simply create a web account at either AmWell or MDLive or download one of the mobile apps available on the App store or at Google Play. Through MDLive you can also access behavioral health providers and get support with addictions, depression, grief and loss, parenting issues, PTSD and more. To learn more, check out the short video clips about AmWell and MDLive. Stay well and save time and money with Cigna telehealth.
Each of the Consortium colleges offers a plethora of resources to support all five domains of well-being: career, financial, physical, social and community. We encourage you and your family to take advantage of these resources so that you can bring your best self to life and work everyday.
“I know what I should do but I just can’t seem to get myself to do it.” “I make progress toward my goals but then I sabotage myself.” “I just can’t seem to get out of my own way.” “I’ve lost and gained the same twenty pounds so many times I’ve lost count.” Sound familiar… read on. Continue reading A free benefit for employees who are currently eligible and enrolled in our CIGNA health insurance programs