SAN ANTONIO -- Navigating the health care system can be a confusing and intimidating process. Now, thanks to a new resource center in west San Antonio, patients can make the most of their health care coverage.
The typical health care experience that comes to mind is visiting with a doctor in a medical office, but that's changing with big companies like Humana setting up shop in busy retail centers.
At the Las Palmas Shopping Center on Castroville Road next to H-E-B, the new Humana Guidance Center is a sign of things to come.
The idea is to connect people with the services they need in a convenient setting. Most people don’t even know what their health plans cover.
“I would say the average American probably doesn’t know what’s covered in their health benefits policy today,” Dr. George Smith said, president of senior products for Humana’s Southwest Region. “Most people never look at it.”
Even non-Humana members can take advantage of activities at the new center, like playing sports on the Nintendo Wii system.
Humana seniors exercise with a group called the Silver Sneakers who lead everything from yoga to Zumba.
“I think it’s a great idea because a lot of people, they come shop at the store, they’re at the grocery, and it’s right next to it,” said Humana Guidance Center client Frances Castillo. “It’s just easy to get to and everybody knows where it is. So I think it’s very helpful for everybody.”
With rising confusion and concern about high health care costs, centers like this new facility make navigating the system a little less daunting.
“This is where the bulk of our members reside,” Smith said. “So we wanted to go where they are, not where we would like them to be, but where they already are.”
The Humana Guidance Center is bringing new life to space formerly occupied by Hollywood Video. It's the first Humana Guidance Center in San Antonio and one of 20 nationwide.
In July, Humana plans on opening a facility in Austin, followed by Houston in the fall.