As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Having a healthy future starts with being proactive today, which is why wellness exams are a vital part of your annual health routine.
At a wellness visit, your doctor will review any changes since your last visit and can determine if you have a higher risk for health complications based on your age, family history and lifestyle. Your doctor will evaluate your health, make sure you are up to date on immunizations and screenings, and recommend any necessary tests. Some of the issues your doctor may focus on are:
- Blood pressure
- Abnormal skin changes
- Changes in bone density
- Cataract developments
- Symptoms of breast and cervical cancer
- Abnormalities indicating prostate cancer
When preparing for your wellness visit, talk to your family members about their health history and bring a list of medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter drugs and vitamins. In addition, make a list of health questions and goals you want to discuss with your doctor. Ask yourself:
- What are my health goals for the next year?
- How can my doctor help me achieve those goals?
- Have I noticed any health changes in the last year?
It’s beneficial to talk openly with your health care provider about how you can be more active, eat a well-balanced diet and reduce stress. Having an honest dialogue with your doctor and taking steps to live a healthy, active life are easy ways to be proactive about your health. The better you take care of yourself now, the more time you’ll have to enjoy the pleasures in life, such as spending time with grandchildren, traveling and visiting with friends.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network’s Medicare Advantage plans cover annual wellness visits as well as a variety of other preventive services, such as screenings for diabetes, annual mammograms and flu shots. Many Medicare Advantage plans also cover dental, vision, hearing and prescription drugs – benefits well beyond Original Medicare.
If you’d like more information about Medicare, visit these blogs:
- Almost Eligible for Medicare? 4 Must-Knows Before You Enroll
- Your Most Pressing Medicare Annual Enrollment Questions, Answered
- Medicare 101: Understanding Medicare Plans A-D
Medicare Plus BlueSM, Blue Cross® Medicare Private Fee for Service, BCN AdvantageSM and Prescription BlueSM are PPO, PFFS, HMO-POS, HMO and PDP plans with Medicare contracts. Enrollment in Medicare Plus Blue, Blue Cross Medicare Private Fee for Service, BCN Advantage and Prescription Blue depends on contract renewal. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Benefits, premiums and/or co-payments/coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year.
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