‘Tis the season to maximize your annual health insurance benefits and get the most from your benefits before the year’s end. Often, preventative care treatments are available to you with no copay or coinsurance.
If you’ve already satisfied your deductible, it’s the perfect time to get last minute screenings. Your deductible will automatically restart at the beginning of the year, meaning you’ll likely be paying out-of-pocket for those same procedures. So, now is the time to maximize your annual checkup. You’ll have your health care provider’s undivided attention – make the most of it.
When you schedule your appointment, make a list of questions and concerns you’d like to address. Going through your checklist at the start of your visit will ensure you get the most from your exam and that all your concerns are addressed.
Review your medical history.
Filling out medical forms 5 minutes before your visit, can cause you to potentially leave off vital information. Doing your homework beforehand can give your doctor the information she needs to properly treat you. Include family members who have had cancer, heart disease, diabetes or other conditions that run in your family.
Your doctor’s office is a judgment-free zone.
Don’t be afraid to bring up uncomfortable topics such as weight, fertility or sexual health. You may not realize it, but your doctor could recognize your problem as a sign of something bigger. Small problems, like being slightly overweight can also increase your risk for illnesses, such as heart disease and certain cancers. Being open and honest with your doctor could help you set a plan for a better overall well-being.
Bring up age-related issues.
Even if you don’t have a family history of breast cancer, you should get a mammogram annually starting at the age of 40. Starting between 35-40, you also should have annual blood tests to check cholesterol and blood-sugar levels. After menopause, women should have thyroid tests every five years.
It’s not just physical.
Your emotional health is just as important as your physical well-being. Let your physician know if you’re not sleeping properly, you’re extra stressed or are feeling down. Your doctor might be able to suggest simple lifestyle changes that can benefit your emotional well-being.
Provided by Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists.
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