Your primary care provider will look for any early signs of disease and help you arrange annual screenings you may need.
An annual checkup with a primary care is also a great way to stay strong, live healthier and get a health professional’s view of any concerns you have. With most insurance plans, your annual checkup is covered 100% with no copays and includes a full-body exam and any lab tests needed.
An ongoing relationship with a health care provider makes communicating sensitive information much easier. It also sets you up with someone looking out for your overall health, allowing for better care.
What to expect at an annual checkup
Your primary care provider will look for any early signs of disease and help you arrange annual screenings you may need. Many conditions such as heart disease and cancer can be treated successfully when caught early.
Before your appointment, write down any questions you may have. Think about lifestyle changes you want to make, nagging concerns no matter how minor, family health history, mental health questions and sexual health concerns.
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Schedule your annual checkup for your birthday so you don’t forget.
This can include the following:
- Stay up to date on immunizations such as a flu and shingles.
- You’ll have an opportunity to ask about general health concerns and discuss symptoms that may be bothering you.
- Your primary care provider can discuss whether you are ready for a mammogram, colonoscopy or other screening typically covered by health insurance.
- Blood tests can check cholesterol and blood sugar levels, screen for sexually transmitted infections and more. If you haven’t had some of these blood tests done before, your provider will want to establish a baseline to compare against future annual checkups.
- The provider will review your family medical history.
- If you need to get specialized care, your primary care provider can refer you to a specialist.
Your provider will use all of this information to formulate a plan to keep you healthy and address any minimize damage from any issues that already may be present. Primary care physicians are trained to uncover potential health issues, and catching those early increases the chance for a healthier future.
For many, annual checkups have been lifesavers.