We go to the doctor when we are sick, but what about when we are healthy? Annual visits with your doctor are an important time to discuss how you can stay healthy, as well as ways to prevent certain conditions you may be at risk for.
According to the National Institutes of Health, a routine physical exam is a chance for your health care provider to:
- Screen for diseases
- Assess risk of future medical problems
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle
- Update vaccinations
- Maintain a relationship with a health care provider in case of an illness
Parag Patel, M.D., a Beaumont family medicine physician, says getting an annual checkup is an important thing to remember.
“Your physician will review with you items that you should have monitored for prevention of many diseases and problems based on general guidelines and your specific situation,” said Dr. Patel. “It is a great time to review and discuss lifestyle factors, smoking, weight, stress, diet and exercise.”
He adds that seeing your doctor each year is beneficial on a personal level as well.
“The annual checkup also fosters a strong physician-patient relationship that is critical if and when more serious conditions arise,” said Dr. Patel.
Services like a blood pressure screening or cholesterol check are often conducted during an annual visit with your doctor. As part of the Affordable Care Act, all Marketplace plans include preventative and wellness services as an essential health benefit – meaning certain preventative services are covered for free within your insurance provider network.
In addition, some insurance plans like BCN Healthy Blue Living actually offer lower out-of-pocket costs overall (like cheaper copays) if you have an annual exam with your primary physician and work toward achieving health goals.
For more information about what to expect at your checkup, visit Healthfinder.gov.
If you like this blog post, you may be interested in reading these, too:
- What Doctor Appointments Do You Need When You’re Healthy?
- 3 Conversations You Should Have With Your Doctor
- How Do You Choose the Right Primary Doctor?
Photo credit: Amanda Mills, Public Health Image Library