Scheduling your annual wellness check-up couldn’t be easier. With annual wellness visits now free of charge without any co-pays regardless of if you haven’t met your deductible or your health insurance plan. Healthcare.gov has all of the information that shows that all plans must comply with the 2014 law and offer a yearly preventative-care office visit and other wellness screenings at no charge to you. Now that preventative care is covered, there isn’t an excuse not to get a check-up. Physician Dr. Anosh Ahmed advises on getting yourself an appointment today if you haven’t already.
Annual wellness visits are more than just perfunctory blood pressure and cholesterol check-up, there are now new preventive care provisions and screenings for adults depending on the needs and age including depression screening, colorectal cancer screening, obesity screening along diet counseling, and drug and alcohol misuse screening and counseling. “Having a preventative annual wellness exam is important for finding out if anything is wrong. We want to promote longevity and wellbeing of your health and catch anything dangerous early before it causes more problems later on,” Dr. Ahmed says.
Women’s preventative health care services have expanded to include well-woman gynecological office visits, breast, and cervical cancer screenings, breastfeeding support, and free sterilization procedures, and even free contraception for those with prescriptions for contraceptive methods that have been FDA-approved from their health care providers.
“Annual wellness visits build a good relationship with your doctor. When you skip the annual wellness visit and only see your doctor when you’re sick or have some other problem, we have a disadvantage in diagnosing and treating health problems because then we don’t have the full picture of your health history generally provided by yearly visits and screenings,” Dr. Ahmed informs.
Your yearly preventative-care visit creates a plan of action for your health. It is a time for you and your doctor to establish your personal health benchmarks and discuss ways to improve your health and prevent illness and disease. After discussing the results of screenings you can create a specific action plan designed to help you stay healthy or to manage and improve chronic conditions. Scheduling your appointment in advance, you are even creating good accountability to stick to the plan you and your doctor created. This can make it easier to make the changes for a positive benefit or improvement in your condition at your next annual appointment.
“One purpose of the yearly screenings is for your doctor to compare your personal health benchmarks from year to year in order to screen for disease. That way they can catch disease at an early manageable stage,” Dr. Ahmed explains. When or if these values change (such as with a rise in blood pressure) your doctor can detect disease formation at an early stage when treatment may be most effective according to the Centers for Disease Control. If you skip your annual wellness visits a disease can progress for years before being caught at a more advanced stage — this can even be deadly in the case of cancers that have spread arterial blockages and Type 2 diabetes.
So what are you waiting for? Schedule an appointment with your primary care provider today!
Dr. Anosh Ahmed is a physician and entrepreneur based in Chicago. As an avid believer in community-driven wellness and support, he is opening a series of wellness clinics all around the Chicago area in the summer called Heart of Health Clinics. His goal is to connect with his community and he and the Heart of Health team of doctors want to bridge the gap between healthcare and wellness and the communities that need it the most.