Making Health Care Choices for Our Family

Thank you Dignity Health for sponsoring this post. Enroll in humankindness.

Making Health Care Choices for Our Family | Freckled Italian

If you've kept up with my blog over the past two years, you know that I have the BRCA2 gene mutation, which means I have an elevated lifetime risk of developing breast, ovarian, and several other cancers. At first, this was a really scary thing to face (especially since my testing came right in the middle of my mom undergoing treatment for her second breast cancer diagnosis), but because of my amazingly supportive family, friends, and healthcare providers; I've been able to monitor the situation with breast exams, blood work, and a yearly MRI--all covered by my health insurance!

It's been a huge blessing and incredibly valuable peace of mind to know that things are fine and that I have a team of doctors keeping an eye on me for as long as I need them to (until I have surgery, which is a choice I made pretty much as soon as I got my test results). You can read more about my BRCA journey so far right here.

Making Health Care Choices for Our Family | Freckled Italian
Making Health Care Choices for Our Family | Freckled Italian

Now that we're just a month away from welcoming our daughter into the world and our family, health insurance is on our minds again. Open Enrollment (November 1-December 15) is the time to select the health care benefits you want for the coming year, and this year more than ever we want to make sure we have the benefits we need to stay healthy and happy as new parents with a baby to look after!

Dignity Health asked me to share a few words about Open Enrollment and some of their latest findings--like did you know that 7% of Californians would rather get a root canal than research health insurance plans? 46% said they'd rather do the dishes, 28% would rather deep clean their home, 22% would rather go to the DMV, and 21% would rather have to resolve an issue with customer service. These made me laugh but I totally get it--shopping around for a plan can be really stressful.

On a less silly note, it appears that people prioritize human connection and kindness when they choose their health insurance plans, and I know this is true for me as well--I am always looking for a provider who listens, is engaged, and communicates clearly. I've had great doctors and not-so-great doctors, and I've actually switched from a practice that I was referred to for my genetic mutation surveillance because I didn't feel comfortable there.

On the other hand, I almost switched from a hospital that I really enjoy overall because the OB didn't seem to know who I was or care about any of my pregnancy-related questions--but a little over halfway through my pregnancy I was able to switch to another provider at the same place and I feel 100% better about delivering our daughter there now.  

And finally, another fact for you: More than half of Californians and two-thirds of millennials wish they spent more time on Open Enrollment. 22% of people spend less than an hour making a decision on health insurance, but after Open Enrollment is over, 55% say they definitely or probably wish they had more of an opportunity to make a better-informed decision. So this year, really try to take your time so you can make the best decision for you and/or your family--whatever that may be.

Open Enrollment with Dignity Health | Freckled Italian

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Maternity photos by Virginia Ashley Photography.