The holiday season often gives us more opportunity to relax with friends and family. Over the years, I’ve found this to be a valuable time to check in with my loved ones about their health and encourage them to make it a priority. As you visit with friends and family, consider having a conversation that includes these important questions.
How are you feeling? How is your mental health?
Many people are struggling with symptoms of increased stress, anxiety and depression, especially during the pandemic. Providing a safe space for someone to share their feelings is important. Friends and family might just need an ear, a hug or someone’s time before they need professional help. It’s also important to let friends and family know there are many resources available for people dealing with low complexity to severe mental health issues to learn more about what they’re feeling and how they can get help.
Do you have a primary care doctor?
Primary care doctors personally know their patients and coordinate their care. Primary care doctors are in the best position to spot health problems, track medications, understand your family history, connect all the dots and coordinate any specialty care you may need.
Have you been vaccinated?
Vaccinations might be a sensitive topic among some groups. However, getting vaccinated is the only way to prevent new and potentially more dangerous COVID-19 variants from emerging. Our best attempt at protecting the great progress we've made is if more people get vaccinated. Anyone age 5 or older is now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine at no cost. You can find a location through this Vaccine Finder website. It's a joint effort between the Centers for Disease Control and other entities. Just enter your ZIP code and you'll see vaccine locations near you, based on available data. Here’s what we know about the vaccines, according to the CDC:
- They're safe and effective at keeping you from getting the coronavirus.
- They cannot give you the virus; they teach your body how to respond to it.
- They're effective in protecting you against the Delta variant and others.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, check out our vaccine FAQs. To find the nearest COVID-19 vaccination sites, visit the Vaccine Finder website.
Do you understand your health care insurance options?
Health care insurance can sometimes seem confusing; however, experts are available to help with coverage choices. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan continues to provide high-quality, affordable health care plans and products that our members expect and deserve. Our options are designed to meet every need and help our members make the best health plan choices during the annual enrollment period.
- The 2022 Medicare annual election period began 15 and runs through Dec. 7.
- Our Medicare website features our product options; or friends and family can speak with a dedicated Medicare customer assistance line for those at 1-855-339-9235 (TTY:711)
- Enrollment for 2022 individual and family plans began 1 and runs through Jan. 15, 2022.
- All our individual plan options are online. Access to Health Plan advisors for the individual marketplace is available to help individuals under age 65 choose the right plan, calculate costs and find out about eligibility for subsidies at 1-855-237-3501 (TTY: 711).
Have a safe and happy holiday season
Don’t miss your chance to ask your loved ones about their well-being and prepare them for a healthy 2022. Daniel J. Loepp is president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. More from MIBluesPerspectives:
- Dishes to Reach for First at the Thanksgiving Table
- CEO: Dedicated Senior Medical Center Will Help Build Healthier Neighborhood
- Blue Cross to Continue Support of MHA Keystone Center
Photo credit: Getty Images