IT IS IMPORTANT TO BE AN ACTIVE PARTNER IN YOUR HEALTH CARE. YOU CAN RECEIVE THE BEST CARE BY BEING INFORMED ABOUT YOUR HEALTH, ASKING QUESTIONS AND MAKING SURE YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOUR DOCTOR IS TELLING YOU.

Each year people die or get injured because of medical errors. Sometimes these errors happen when the wrong medication is given, or the patient does not know how to take the medication. If you take herbal medications, it is important to tell your doctor. You can help your doctor give you the best care by giving them information and by asking questions. If you do not understand something, it is important to say, "I do not understand - can you explain it in a different way?"

In your MiVIA™ account, you will receive information to help you get good care.

Your Rights
If You Do Not Have Insurance

If you do not have insurance and you become ill, you can go to a clinic and they will see you at a low cost or sometimes at no cost. This is because most rural and federal clinics receive special funding to treat migrant or agricultural workers.

On your MiVIA™ page you can find a clinic near you by clicking on Find A Clinic. You do not have to show proof of citizenship or residence to go to these clinics. If you are very ill and are having a lot of pain, you can go to an emergency room. Most hospitals have emergency rooms. When you arrive, you will be asked about your condition and your insurance status. If you do not have insurance and you are very ill, they cannot turn you away.

If you do not have insurance and you are not in an emergency situation, it is always best to try to visit a clinic rather than an emergency room, since the cost is much lower. But if you think you are so sick that it is an emergency, then you must go to the emergency room.

If you do not have insurance, there are many programs that might help you. Some of these are Medi-Cal, Medicaid, Emergency Medi-Cal and CMSP. Other special programs may be available to help pay for some or all of your health care.

If You Have Health Insurance

Always carry a copy of your insurance card with you or keep the information in a safe place. You should also put your insurance information on your MiVIA™ card.

Most insurance plans have a co-pay - that means you might have to pay a part of the bill. Always ask for a receipt for any payment you make to the clinic or doctor. Sometimes insurance has a deductible which means that you will have to pay a certain amount before the insurance will pay for the rest of your medical care. The amount of your co-pay and your deductible should be on your insurance card.

Insurance for Children

There are special insurance plans for children. If you have a child under the age of 18, your child can get insurance at a very low cost. Even if you do not have insurance for your child, you can get examinations and immunization through special programs. By contacting public health or county health offices, you can get more information.

Healthy Families - Free or low-cost health insurance for children: (800) 880-5305.
http://www.dhs.ca.gov/mcs/medi-calhome/HFApp.htm

Insurance Problems

If you have a problem with your insurance company or HMO, you have certain rights. We have included a link to The California Patient's Guide which explains your rights to receive quality health care and what steps you can take if you have problems.
calpatientguide.org

http://www.dhs.ca.gov/mcs/medi-calhome/HFApp.htm

How to Get the Best Health Care

The following information was provided by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (www.ahrq.com):

Be an Active Health Care Consumer

Tell the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and nurses about any allergies, bad reaction to anesthesia, and any medications you are taking. 1)

For more information about health care and your rights visit this Web site: http://www.ahrq.gov/path/beactive.htm

Check your Medicines: http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/checkmeds.htm#Ask

1) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services American Hospital Association American Medical Association AHRQ Publication No. 03-M007 Current as of July 2003

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