1. Learn what your insurance covers
Canada's publicly funded health-care system pays for many -- but not all -- hospital costs. Know the perks and limitations of your workplace insurance before you arrive at the hospital, says Linda Benn, a registered nurse and patient education coordinator at Capital Health, a network of hospitals, clinics and services based in Halifax. Will your coverage pay for semiprivate accommodation, in-room TV and crutches? Review your policy to see who's responsible for which costs.
Plus, being insurance savvy can save you money. Chris Rokosh, a registered nurse in Calgary, and the president and chief nursing consultant of CanLNC (an organization that provides nursing experts for medical litigation cases), says that if you and your spouse have health insurance from two insurers, you should bring documents from both. "One provider [may] cover partial costs. The other, the remainder," she says.
2. Avoid hospital room rage
Worried about a noisy, snoring roommate? Before donning a hospital gown, ask about getting a semiprivate or private room. According to Benn, "The best way to get the room you want is to ask [during] your first contact with hospital personnel." This could be through a phone call, letter or in-person visit with admissions or a hospital booking officer to arrange your procedure date.
Page 1 of 3 -- Find out what you should pack for an overnight hospital stay on page 2