The holidays are a chance to relax, spend time with family and friends and end the year on a good note. However, germs tend to follow us around regardless of how busy our schedules are or how cautiously we wash our hands. While it’s normal to catch a cold or feel overwhelmed during this time of year, don’t let it ruin your holidays. Here are some of the care options available to you, so you can feel better faster. Check in with a doctor you trust Whenever you want to speak face-to-face with a professional who knows your health history, nothing beats seeing your primary care doctor. He or she will know how best to treat anything from an intense sore throat to an aching shoulder. Even if you don’t have an appointment, some doctor’s offices have walk-in slots available for last-minute issues.
- How to connect: If you need to choose or change your primary doctor, log in to your BCBSM member account. Once you've logged in, click on "Doctors & Hospitals," then select "Primary Care Physicians.” Find the row associated with your name and click "Change," then follow the instructions to find a primary care physician who accepts your plan.
Talk to a certified nurse day or night Have you ever experienced a strange symptom and searched the web to try to figure out what medical condition you might have? Don’t self-diagnose or spend the holidays worrying about a made-up illness. If you experience any abnormal symptoms, like a high fever, pain or discomfort, consult with a professional. The nurses at the 24-Hour Nurse Line will help you find a solution to your problem, on your time at no cost.
- How to connect: For BCBSM members, call 1-800-775-2583 or for BCN members, call 1-855-624-5214 or click here.
Connect with a medical professional in person on weekends and evenings If your doctor isn’t available, you could go to a retail health clinic which are usually open on evenings and weekends. You'll meet with a board-certified nurse practitioner who can listen to your symptoms and provide you with the next steps to stay healthy.
- How to connect: To find a retail health clinic that accepts your plan, simply log in to your Blue Cross member account and select "Find a Retail Health Clinic."
Know where to go for more complicated symptoms Urgent care is an ideal option when your doctor is not available and you need care for urgent symptoms (anything that requires care within 24 hours but isn’t a life-threatening emergency). Maybe you think you have food poisoning or a severe ear ache—no matter the issue, you can walk into an urgent care center without an appointment and get help.
- How to connect: Log in to your Blue Cross member account and select "Find a Doctor or Hospital, Compare Cost and Quality." Then, type "Urgent Care" in the search field to find a center that accepts your plan.
Get help without leaving home or work Blue Cross Online VisitsSM is the perfect option for those times when you can’t leave your home or work but need to talk to a professional about your scratchy throat or itchy eye. A U.S. board-certified doctor is available to speak to you without an appointment and talk through your symptoms over a secure web-based video chat. Depending on your Blue Cross plan, you may also be able to talk with a therapist or psychiatrist about stresses or feelings of sadness especially during this busy holiday season.
- How to connect: You’ll need access to a smartphone, tablet, or computer with video capability. After that, it’s quick and easy to sign up for Blue Cross Online visits here.
Knowing who to reach out to when it’s not an emergency can help you can relax and enjoy your holiday. Want more tips to stay healthy and stress-free this holiday season? Check out these blogs:
- Men’s Health: You Have Options For Care
- The Difference Between Retail Health Clinics and Urgent Care Centers
- Traveling During The Holidays? Here’s Your Guide to Getting Care
Photo Credit: Josh Willink