Photo Credit: unoseiscuatro.com
For many people
- choosing the correct healthcare insurance,
- navigating through websites and
- attempting to speak to a representative
is a daunting and unpleasant experience.
Even to the medical professionals the language often used on these websites, telling you what your benefits are and what you are eligible for are so confusing, that the doctors don’t even know what they can or cannot provide.
As a doctor I share with you here 5 Signs that I hope you’ll consider if you’re looking to change Healthcare Plans or if you’re curious if you’ve got a good one… or not.
1. Get an Annual… Annually!
Every adult over the age of 18 should see their primary care physician at least once a year.
It’s like taking your car for an oil change, you do not want to wait until your oil light is on, and your car feels sluggish.
It is important to see a physician annually and get an annual tune up, regardless of how good you feel.
2. Your Annual Should Include These Things:
Annual check-ups include:
- All vitals: Blood Pressure, Temperature, Pulse, height and weight
- Blood work: CBC, Comprehensive Metabolic panel, Lipid panel fasting, thyroid panel including TSH, PSA- for men over 50 or who have urinary problems, Urinalysis.
- If there is a history of diabetes check a Hemoglobin A1C.
- If you’re sexually active, a full STD check. Even if you’re monogamous, getting at least your HIV status confirmed is a good thing… never hurt anyone to confirm.
3. Women Over 40: Annual Breast Cancer Screening
Women over the age of 40:
- Annual Mammogram!
- If there is a strong history of breast cancer in the family mammograms should start 10 years prior to the age when the family member was diagnosed with cancer.
- Or, annual Breast sonograms for young/child bearing females.
4. Cervical Cancer Screening
New guidelines for screening for Cervical Cancer:
- Every woman between the ages of 21-65 should have a pap smear every 3 years.
5. Colon Cancer Screening
Every man and woman should have a colonoscopy starting at age 50.
- If there is a strong history of colon cancer in the family start screening 10 years before the age of the family member at diagnosis.
- If the test is normal, follow up is every 7-10 years.
Every healthcare plan should offer everyone the basics as mentioned above: annual labs, urine and screening tests.
If these are not offered free of cost in a plan… then the plan is not a good one.
If they don’t pay for the basics, do you think they will pay for anything else?