As we enter 2022 and face the opportunities for change offered by a new year, consider a resolution that helps you support your health now and for years to come. If the pandemic has taught us anything, our health and well-being are more important than ever. But are we doing everything we can to keep ourselves healthy? Try resolving to see your doctor this year. While it might not be the trendiest resolution, building a relationship with a primary care provider is an act of self-care that’s an investment in your future health. And often, if you have health insurance, an annual well-visit to your primary care provider is covered at no out-of-pocket cost. If you’re considering other resolutions in the New Year – like eating healthier, starting a new exercise routine or losing weight – primary care providers can help guide you on how to make changes in your lifestyle in a way that’s manageable and healthy for you. Starting an intense workout plan or trying a fad diet could be bad for your health in the long term and put you at risk of injury. People who visit a primary care provider tend to spend less time in the hospital and less money on their medical costs over time. Primary care providers can also make sure you’re up to date on vaccines, routine blood tests and evaluate your need for recommended screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies. They can help you build a baseline so that you and your doctors understand what’s considered healthy and normal for you – in case there are changes in the future. Primary care providers can also take a detailed health history so you can understand how your family’s medical conditions could impact your health. They can also provide referrals and recommendations for other types of care – like a dental appointment, eye exam or behavioral health professional. If you have an existing medical condition, like diabetes or asthma, it’s especially important to routinely visit your primary care provider. Your care plan to manage your condition may need to be adjusted from one year to the next as you mature and change. There also may be new treatments or medications available to you that could help. In these pandemic times, primary care providers can also be a valuable resource. When you get sick or have a small ailment like a sprain, rash, minor burn, allergies or cold and flu symptoms, you can go to someone who’s aware of your health history and current medications. Many primary care providers offer same-day sick appointments for this very reason – which allow you to avoid an emergency room visit unless your symptoms are life-threatening. Additionally, many providers offer virtual appointments and checkups so you can avoid coming into the office altogether. If you don’t have a primary care provider and need one, members with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network coverage can find a doctor using our online tool. And if you don’t have health insurance, visit bcbsm.com to see if Blue Cross or BCN have plans that are right for you – or if you qualify for subsidized health coverage under the individual marketplace. More from MIBluesPerspectives:
- 5 Reasons to See a Doctor When You're Healthy
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- FAQ About the New COVID Antiviral Pills
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