The new year is here, and it’s time to decide what changes you’ll make to have a healthy, happy 2022. One of the best things you can do for yourself, and your family is to take charge of your health care.
Most people depend on different doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and insurance companies for their health care. It’s a team effort, and you are the most important member of the team.
You can improve your care and the care of your family by taking an active role in your health care. Take charge of your health care:
Keep up with all vaccinations that are age appropriate
Keep track of important health information
Be prepared for medical appointments
Ask your doctor or nurse questions
When you visit the doctor, write down your questions ahead of time. Be sure to follow up after your appointment to get any recommended tests or lab work.
Managing your health care is easier if important information is close at hand. It’s a good idea to keep a personal health record. Write down:
Your name, birth date, blood type (ask your doctor if you don’t know) and person to call in an emergency
Any history of illness in your family
Dates and results of checkups and screening tests
Lists of shots (and the dates you got them)
Medicines you take, how much you take, and why you take them
Telephone numbers and addresses of places you go for health care, including your pharmacy
Take this information with you to the doctor.
Make the most of doctor visits.
Check out these tips for talking to your doctor:
Tell your doctor about:
Your family’s health history.
Your personal health history (illnesses, surgeries, allergies)
Any medicines you take, both prescription and over-the-counter (including herbs or vitamins)
Your health concerns or issues
Health information you find on the Internet or hear from others
After your visit with your doctor
Call if you have any questions or side effects from medication. If you need to, schedule follow-up appointments for tests or lab work. Work on making the healthy changes your doctor recommends.
What about cost?
Many insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare, will cover the cost of recommended screening tests and shots. Check with your insurance provider to learn what’s included in your plan.