Ingrid Friesen Moser, M.A., R.D. has degrees in Christian Formation from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and Nutrition from Goshen College. She has worked in the fields of dietetics and wellness for over 20 years. She is the author of Body Talk: Speaking the Words of Health (Living Stewardship Series, Herald Press, 2007) and has been the wellness consultant for The Corinthian Plan since its beginning in 2010. Ingrid is a member of Southside Fellowship in Elkhart, Indiana, where her husband David Moser is the pastor.
“But Moses said in the Lord’s presence, ‘Since I am a poor speaker, why would Pharaoh listen to me?’” Exodus 6:30
Perhaps you, like me, recognize the feelings of inadequacy and frustration expressed by Moses when needing to confront power and authority.
For many of us, these feelings may arise when faced with a health issue or navigating access to health care. Perhaps it has happened in a conversation with a doctor or other health care provider, or when discussing something in a bill that you thought would be covered with your health insurance provider. Or maybe it’s happened when you were trying to determine insurance coverage for a service you or a loved one needed.
Every year we hear from Corinthian Plan members who encounter situations with their health care providers or in the billing for medical services that leave them asking, “What did I miss? Why did this happen? Is there anything I can do?”
As a new intern in a large teaching hospital, I remember feeling overwhelmed by the medical environment I was thrust into. I knew people were speaking a language that I recognized as my native tongue of English, but I was struggling to understand how the system worked – from the documentation in the charts to the conversations at the nurse’s station.
The dietetic internship director was wise to this. Like all new interns, I was assigned to be at a preceptor’s side for the first several months. My preceptors translated for me, taught me and help me gain confidence. As I learned, I was given more responsibility and began to make my own patient recommendations as well as speak with medical providers and hospital staff about shared patients.
Over the decades I have learned a lot about navigating the world of healthcare from working in hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices. I’ve even worked with colleagues that are experts in health insurance that have opened my eyes to some of the ways that unique world functions too. However, even with my background, I can still get flustered and frustrated when I am the patient. Perhaps the most important lessons come from my earliest days in the teaching hospital in Peoria, Illinois:
I don’t have to know it all. I can’t know it all. What I need to know is who to have at my side.
Corinthian Plan staff are available to help. Recently we were able to steer a Corinthian Plan member to Annetta Good from Everence for help with a specific wellness related billing issue.
Annetta helped the member find the answer to her question and was really encouraging in her response. Annetta wrote, “Health care billing in the U.S. is complicated and challenging to say the least. I applaud you for your questions and investigation – your questions were on target with the information you had available to you. I often tell people that we get the right answers if we ask the right questions, but sometimes we don’t know what the right questions are. You are not alone in this struggle as many other people have questions also.”
The Corinthian Plan member said, “[Speaking with Annetta] helped me to better articulate what I was experiencing and to better understand what I needed (the right questions), which Annetta helped provide.”
It’s okay to ask for help to figure out the right questions to ask — the ones that will help get you the information and potentially the results you need.
This insight returns us to the story of Moses. God sends him Aaron.
“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land.’” Exodus 7: 1-2
When faced with a healthcare situation that feels foreign and you feel powerless or without a voice, don’t let that stop you from asking questions that will help you learn. Find someone to be at your side.
If you are a Corinthian Plan member we are committed to being there for you. For wellness incentive or benefit questions contact me. All other issues can be directed to Duncan Smith, Corinthian Plan Director.
Navigating your health care and health care benefits is not something you have to do alone.