The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) has long advocated that all Americans should have health insurance and access to high quality, affordable health care, regardless of employment or health status. North Carolina’s physicians are actively engaged in making sure that reforms preserve and enhance the patient-doctor relationship. Check out a listing of resources to assist patients in adapting to a changing health market.
Health Reform Resources
- Healthcare.Gov – Find out more about how to get health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, sometimes known as the health insurance “exchange.”
- NC’s Department of Health & Human Services: http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/ – This site provides North Carolina residents information regarding health reform and how to get insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
- Health Insurance Smart NC: A resource from the NC Department of Insurance, this site can identify enrollment opportunities for health insurance coverage and help you understand your rights and responsibilities regarding health insurance coverage.
- Kaiser Family Foundation Health Reform Gateway – Presented by the Kaiser Family Foundation, this website offers a number of helpful resources for health insurance consumers.
- Fact Sheets from FamiliesUSA.org – check out the complete list of fact sheets by visiting: http://familiesusa.org/resources/resources-for-consumers/.
- Understanding the Requirement to Have Health Insurance (PDF) – This fact sheet presented by FamiliesUSA.org summarizes the new health reform requirements that mandate insurance coverage.
- Income Guidelines for Getting and Using Financial Assistance for Health Insurance (PDF)
- ConsumerReports’ Health Reform: 7 Things You Need to Know Now (PDF)
Problems with Insurance Companies or Health Plans:
The North Carolina Medical Society is an advocacy organization supporting physicians and their patients. We are unable, however, to resolve specific patient inquiries such as bills or claims, medical necessity or similar complaints patients may have regarding insurance companies, health plans or physician offices. There are many excellent resources devoted to helping patients with these concerns. Below are some resources that may be of assistance:
Issues with Insurance or Health Plan Laws:
- Health Insurance Smart NC: A resource from the NC Department of Insurance, this site can help you file complaints or appeals with your health insurance company and help you request an external review if your health insurance claim was denied.
Problems with Medicare, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance:
- Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) at 1-800-443-9354 or visit http://www.ncdoi.com/SHIIP/;
- Palmetto GBA (North Carolina’s Medicare administrator) 1-800-Medicare (1-800 633-4227)
New Medicare Patients Looking for Physicians:
- Contact the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) at 1-800-443-9354. Also, contact local hospitals and ask to speak to their Physician Referral Service or other offices that refer patients to physicians.
Concerns Regarding Physicians or Physician’s Offices:
- Contact the North Carolina Medical Board at 1-800-546-5664 or online at http://www.ncmedboard.org. To get further information regarding a specific physician, use their “Look Up a Licensee” link on the right hand side of the homepage.
The following information is intended to assist patients who are seeking more information regarding medical conditions and ways to ensure better health. In addition, information is provided to empower you as the patient to work with your physician to ensure the best quality of care is provided.
- American Cancer Society [http://www.cancer.org] – The American Cancer Society’s site is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem through prevention and awareness. The site also seeks to diminish suffering from cancer and provides information pertaining to all cancer types, as well as support for family members and cancer survivors.
- American Diabetes Association [http://www.diabetes.org] – The American Diabetes Association website is dedicated to helping those with the disease cope with their condition, and it focuses on research, education, and prevention of the disease. All information is also available in Spanish
- American Heart Association [http://www.americanheart.org] – This comprehensive website covers various heart-related issues, from judging the warning signs of heart problems to examining different heart conditions, and offering health lifestyle information for children and adults.
Pulmonary Issues – asthma, COPD, lung cancer, smoking cessation
- American Lung Association [http://www.lungusa.org] – A wide-ranging website that covers issues relating to breathing, such as asthma, emphysema, allergies, smoking cessation, lung cancer, tuberculosis, and much more.
- North Carolina Tobacco Use Quitline Program
Maintaining good health requires that patients empower themselves through education and awareness of their condition and the treatment methods available to them. In addition, patients can take a proactive role in ensuring their safety throughout their treatment by developing an effective relationship with their physician and by taking responsibility for keeping an accurate account of their medical conditions and medications. The following links are helpful in learning what steps you as a patient can take to ensure quality care and to prevent medical errors.
Patient Health Records
- Patient Health Snapshot – Developed by the NCMS Quality of Care and Performance Improvement Committee, this downloadable form helps you as the patient take charge of your health care by accurately listing your past and present medical conditions, allergies to medications, and prescription medication history. Such information is important for phyusicians to have, expecially in case of emergency.
- Breve resumen de la salud del paciente Patient Health Snapshot (Spanish-version)
- ICE: In Case of Emergency This website provides instructions and tools to be better prepared for emergency situations, including adding the contact “ICE” to your cell phone to designate an emergency contact.
Find a Physician
- NC Medical Society Membership Directory – View over 12,000 names of member physicians, physician assistants, residents, and students; search by name, city, specialty, or county and then download your results.
- NC Medical Board [http://www.ncmedboard.org] – The NC Medical Board manages the licensing of medical providers throughout the state. “Look up a Licensee” to find current contact information and educational background.