We are a little over a month into to the new year and as tradition goes, many of you have made at least one resolution. Some want to spend their money more wisely. Others want to eat better and exercise more. Those are great resolutions. But have you ever considered making a resolution to see your primary physician regularly, if you do not already? It’s recommended that women see their primary care provider on a yearly basis and men every three to five years for wellness exams to help maintain your health. It’s an important step for good health, but it’s also one that many people skip. So if you do not see your physician regularly here is why you should.
Why Preventive Exams are Important
Wellness exams are vital to keeping you healthy. Although you may consider yourself healthy, these exams are important to make sure you stay that way. Regular exams allow your physician to discover a potential health concern before you start experiencing symptoms, a significant development because if a health condition can be unveiled before symptoms appear, you and your physician have the opportunity to proactively treat the condition. Catching health conditions early also means that you may be able to avoid invasive and costly procedures and possibly experience better outcomes and than if the condition was discovered in an advanced state.
Services Covered at No Cost to You
Under the Affordable Care Act most health plans must cover preventive services at no cost to you. The only catch is that the services must be provided by one of your network providers. The Affordable Care Act website provides a comprehensive list of preventive services that are provided with corresponding information that explains the test and its importance. Women, don’t forget about your health. Check out the preventive services that are available for your specific health needs.
Prepare Yourself before Your Next Exam
Once you have your appointment made, make sure to get the most out of your exam by preparing yourself. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends four things you should do to prepare:
- Review your family health history. Your physician will use your family health history as a guide to assess your risk of developing a health condition.
- Check to see if you are due for any general screenings and vaccinations. Use this time to follow up with your provider to see if you are up to date on your recommended screenings and vaccinations.
- Take with you a list of issues and questions. Don’t miss an opportunity to talk about your health concerns with your physician face to face; write down everything you want to discuss.
- Consider your future. Use this time to discuss any changes, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, or having children, you are planning on making in your life that will affect your health to ensure that you can make the best decisions.
As you spend time thinking about your resolutions, take some time to consider how seeing your primary care physician regularly fits in. After all it is an important factor in maintaining your health in the long term.