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How to Make the Most of Your Annual Exam

‘Tis the season to maximize your annual insurance benefits. Get the most out of your medical benefits before the year comes to a close. In many instances, preventative care treatments are available to you with no co-pay or co-insurance.

Plus, if you’ve already satisfied your health insurance 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.

Here are a few tips and tricks that you can do to maximize your annual check-up.

#1 Come Prepared Make the most of your annual exam

From the moment you schedule your appointment (or even before), keep a list of questions and concerns you’d like to speak to your physician about. Going through your checklist at the start of your visit will ensure you get the most out of your exam and that all of your concerns are addressed.

#2 Review Your Medical History – And, Your Family’s

Filling out medical forms 5 minutes before your visit can potentially leave vital information missing. Doing your homework beforehand can give your doctor the information they need to properly treat you. Include: family members who have had cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or other conditions that run in your family.

#3 Remember: Your Doctor’s Office is a Judgement-Free Zone

Don’t be afraid to bring up uncomfortable topics such as weight, fertility, or sexual health – even if it’s something small. You may not realize it but your doctor could recognize your problem as a sign or symptom 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.

#4 Talk About Vaccines

Just because you’re not in grade-school anymore doesn’t mean you get to escape the dreaded needle. When you get your flu shot, ask your doctor what other vaccines you’re due for. Adults still require a tetanus shot every 10-years for example. Your doctor may also suggest a pertussis vaccine for whooping cough – especially if you come in close contact with infants or small children.

#5 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 should also have annual blood tests done to check cholesterol and blood-sugar levels. After menopause, women should have thyroid tests done every 5 years as well.

#6 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 in the dumps. Your doctor might be able to suggest simple lifestyle changes that can benefit your emotional well-being.

Final Thoughts

Now is the time to start seriously thinking about last-minute preventative care. Use this opportunity to maximize your annual health insurance benefits. You’ll have your health care provider’s undivided attention–make the most of it.

Call our offices to schedule your annual exam today. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your well-being, don’t hesitate to call. A trained member of our staff will be happy to help.

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“Dr. Litrel was a fantastic doctor. I had my first exam with him, although at first I was skeptical about a male doctor for my GYN. But after I met him I’m glad I kept an open mind, and I couldn’t have dreamed up a better doctor. He cares about you as a person and not just a patient. The front desk ladies and nurses were very friendly and it’s a great office, very clean and not intimidating. I highly recommend Cherokee Women’s Health.”
– Vicki