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Why Family Care Providers are the Best Choice
Most of us aren’t very good at planning ahead. We pay the minimum balance of our credit cards. We rely on Social Security for retirement. And most of us don’t have family care providers — we’d rather be reactionary about our health and wander into an emergency walk in clinic or frantically Google “online STD testing.”

We understand that you’re busy. But family care providers are worth the investment of time. If you wait until there’s a real emergency and rely on your local emergency room, you could face wait times of over an hour and uncomfortable cots or chairs in the hallway of an overcrowded inpatient room. Even worse, emergency rooms and the like are almost always more expensive than family health care, with average costs per visit of $1,318. Even if your insurance covers part of this, you’re still usually looking at a co-pay in the hundreds, rather than the tens.

Family care providers aren’t just about reacting to emergencies either. Having a file for you and your family at a family health clinic provides stability for you and your children and could actually lead to higher quality care. How? Well, if the same doctor has been seeing you every year in both emergency and non-emergency situations, chances are they have a considerable file on you that includes all your bumps, bruises, sinus infections, medications, etc. Furthermore, family care providers will build up a rapport with you. They’ll get a sense of your habits, both good and bad, and your lifestyle choices. All of this information makes it easier for family care providers to identify your risk factors for certain diseases and illnesses. This is important, because that means they are better able to practice preventative medicine on you and your family, which is both more effective and less expensive than reactionary remedies. They’ll also be able to more quickly refer you to specialists, should the need arise (and you can trade the hallway in the ER for a comfortable waiting room surrounded by staff you know).

How to Get A Family Care Provider
Many people we’ve spoken to have told us that it’s not just time they lack when it comes to searching for a good doctor — it’s knowledge. Again, we get it. The healthcare bureaucracy is a ponderous, almost living thing with far too many moving parts for the average person to understand intuitively.

We’re here to help. The first step is to learn about your insurance coverage inside and out. Usually, all the information you need will be on your insurance card. The first step would be to call the help line listed on this card and get a list of providers in your area.

What to do if You Don’t Have Insurance
If you don’t have insurance and it’s past the open enrollment period, you might still be able to sign up for one of the public health programs like CHIP, Medicaid, or Medicare as an emergency applicant. To do this, go to the government website for these programs and follow the cues for your state. Often, if you’re really having trouble, a representative will walk you through the application process step by step either over the phone or in person if you prefer.

Don’t let your healthcare options fall by the wayside. Trust us — you don’t want to spend any part of your life in the ER.