Don’t forget to take care of yourself this summer. Camps, summer vacations and children’s sports physicals are important, but so is caring for your own health.
One of the most important things you can do is plan your yearly health exam. The exam involves screenings that will help you keep on top of your health. If you haven’t had one this year, call your doctor and get it on the calendar.
Regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start, when your chances for successful treatment are better. The exams and screenings you’ll need depend on factors like your age, health and family history.
Your life choices — what you eat, whether you smoke and how often you work out — also play a role. By choosing to get the right health services, screenings and treatments, you’re taking steps that increase your chances of living a longer, healthier life.
Preparing for Your Visit
Most doctor visits are brief, but taking time to prepare can make your experience as productive and stress-free as possible. Remember to:
- Make a list of questions and goals for the visit.
- If you have specific concerns, make a detailed list so you don’t leave anything out.
- Bring a list of any drugs you take or bring the drugs with you. Be sure to include over-the-counter items like vitamins and herbal supplements.
Making the Most of Your Visit
Once you arrive at the doctor’s office, make the most of your visit by asking questions and taking notes. If you don’t understand something, ask for an explanation.
Keep these tips in mind:
- It’s best that your doctor knows your medical history. When you visit a new doctor, make sure you share information.
- Reviewing your family health record helps your doctor know if you’re at risk for health problems such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease.
- Discuss any health changes you’re considering, like stopping smoking or losing weight.
- If your doctor suggests a treatment, ask about the possible side effects.
- Don’t hesitate to ask about other choices that might bring the same result. There may be simpler or less costly options for you.
- Ask if a generic choice is available for prescriptions.
Don’t Skip the Shots
Just because you’re not going back to school in the fall doesn’t mean you don’t need an immunization! Keeping up to date is an important part of your yearly wellness visit.
- Having the right vaccinations helps cut the risk of sickness, disability and death due to preventable diseases. They also protect the health of others around you.
- Vaccines for adults prevent serious diseases like flu, pneumonia and tetanus. They may also fight whooping cough, shingles and hepatitis A and B.
- Your needs will depend on your age, lifestyle, health issues, occupation and prior vaccines.
Make the call.
One of the best and easiest ways you can stay healthy is to make sure you get your recommended exams, screenings and immunizations. Make your appointment now. If you need to find a doctor, use Provider Finder® to find a provider in your network.
*Preventive services at no cost applies only to members enrolled in non-grandfathered health plans. You may have to pay all or part of the cost of preventive care if your health plan is grandfathered. To find out if your plan is grandfathered or non-grandfathered, call the customer service number on your member ID card.
Sources: Regular Check-Ups are Important, 2015, Check-Up Checklist: Things to Do Before Your Next Check-Up, 2017, Vaccines and Immunizations, 2017, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Immunization, U.S National Library of Medicine, 2017