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Health Care Is Like a Box of Chocolates

When Hollywood actor Tom Hanks uttered the phrase, “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” in the 1994 film Forrest Gump, it immediately resonated on many levels with health care.

The Japanese book, Norwegian Wood, authored by Haruki Murakami, has a similar saying, and is perhaps the inspiration for the famous quote in Gump: “Just remember, life is like a box of chocolates … “You know, they’ve got these chocolate assortments, and you like some but you don’t like others? And you eat all the ones you like, and the only ones left are the ones you don’t like as much?”

The same applies to how most consumers access and use health care. How many of us don’t want to think about our health until we absolutely need to, and then wind up dragging ourselves to a primary care physician in desperate need of relief? Or perhaps we skip the MRI and see a chiropractor because it’s more affordable care? Worse yet, how many of us forego medical care altogether because we know health insurance won’t pay the bill?

Did you know? Supplemental health insurance helps protect against unexpected medical expenses like accidents or critical illnesses. The cash benefit can be used to pay medical bills health insurance doesn’t pay, the mortgage, childcare – whatever you need the money for!

Health care is like a box of chocolates. Free preventive services are the first chocolate to be consumed because it doesn’t cost you anything. That tastes sweet. After the free chocolates are gone, you don’t know what medical services actually cost. Specialty medical care, a hospital stay or a new prescription medication could be like biting into foul-tasting nougat.

However, health care can be a box of your favorite chocolates if you know how to shop for health care and work with organizations that provide the best value for medical services. And, having supplemental health insurance to cover an unexpected hospital stay, emergency room visit or medical tests because of an accident or critical illness can help round out your health care portfolio. Here’s how:

Shop for health care like you would a new automobile

Would you ever walk onto a car lot, point to the first vehicle you saw and proclaim, “I’ll take that one!” Of course not. You would research make, model and gas mileage. You would comparison shop prices online. But so many Americans make an appointment with a health care provider not knowing what to expect when the final bill arrives. Think about everyday examples. Do you know how much an Urgent Care visit costs for your children before you go? Do you know how much a knee MRI costs? And do you know if your health insurance plan covers either?

If you don’t know how much medical services cost, you are not alone. The majority of individuals don’t. Health care is extremely complex, and the price of care in one state is vastly different in another state. The key to financial understanding is education. Just like you would research special features of a car, contact your health insurance company to get a better understanding before you need it. You can also research health care using tools like Healthcare Bluebook to get average prices and quality scores of medical professionals before you schedule an appointment.

Work with the experts

Organizations like HealthValues offer a bundle of free or money-saving benefits that help consumers pay for health care services their health insurance company doesn’t cover. If you have a $1,000 medical deductible or more, you are most likely paying for health services out of your own pocket. That means doctor office visits, X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and other types of costly services are costing you and your family hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year. With HealthValues, consultations with board-certified physicians via telephone or video chat are free and unlimited. Imaging services like X-ray, MRI or CT scans are priced 45%-75% less, depending on state of residence or region. Other services include medical “bluebook” pricing, patient advocacy and medical bill negotiation services.

Make sure you don’t get stuck with a bad box of chocolates each year. Let HealthValues help you manage your health care expenses every month.

To learn more about HealthValues visit