How to Make the Most of a Date with your Doctor

How to Make the Most of a Date with your Doctor

—Hey Doc, what’s up?
—I think it’s time that you and I have a private, productive conversation about my health.
—No, nothing’s wrong, that I know of. But you know how it is, I want to get my annual screenings done. I need to know my numbers.
—How about I see you next week? Sound good?
—And don’t worry about the fee. I already checked with my insurance. They got me covered.

Wouldn’t it be nice to ring up your doctor and get right in when you need to? It can be all too tempting to call mom and get her advice of what to put on that rash that’s on your leg, or Google image search to see if you find a similar looking phenomenon, only to spend the next six hours worrying you may have one of five different life threatening conditions. After all, both of those options can seem easier than trying to find a doctor, booking an appointment and then waiting for what seems like forever for that day to come.

But here’s the thing, doctor visits don’t have to be like blind dates. You can have a meaningful relationship with your doctor. Moreover, it’s not that hard to build one. Even better, you can start by booking your annual health exam. In fact, most wellness exams, also known as preventive care visits, are covered at no out-of-pocket cost to you when you visit a provider in your health plan’s network.*

Getting your annual wellness check-up and taking advantage of preventive care services can save you money in the long run, and it might end up saving your life if you and your doctor catch something early. Many preventive care services are covered without cost-sharing, meaning without a copay, coinsurance or deductible.* Below are some examples of preventive care services for adults. Remember to check your health benefit plan or contact Customer Service to determine coverage. Check out our Provider Finder tool to compare docs and find a PCP in your network.

Preventive exam
Examples of services included as part of a preventive exam include history and physical exam, measurements of height, weight and body mass index (BMI).

  • Immunizations Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  • Influenza (Flu)
  • Measles, Mumps, Ruebella
  • Meningococcal
  • Pneumococcal
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Zoster

Screening tests

  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm screening
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Cholesterol screening
  • Colorectal cancer screenings using fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy
  • Depression screening
  • Diabetes screening for adults with high blood pressure
  • Falls prevention for adults age 65+ in community dwellings, including physical therapy and Vitamin D supplementation for this purpose
  • Hepatitis B screening
  • Hepatitis C infection screening
  • HIV screening and counseling
  • Lung cancer screening
  • Obesity screening
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI) screenings (chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis)

Health Counseling

  • Alcohol misuse screening and counseling
  • Healthy diet
  • Obesity
  • Prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Tobacco use cessation (Includes Prescription – One or more products within the categories approved by the FDA for use in smoking cessation)
  • Use of aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease
  • Use of folic acid
  • Skin cancer behavioral counseling for young adults (up to age 24)

Women Only

  • Annual well woman visit
  • Breast cancer prevention medication
  • Breast cancer screening/ Screening mammography
  • Cervical cancer screening including Pap smear
  • Osteoporosis screening
  • Genetic counseling and evaluation for BRCA testing where family history is associated with an increased risk
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA test
  • Counseling related to chemoprevention of breast cancer
  • Breastfeeding
  • Intimate partner violence counseling and screening
  • Contraception

Specifically for Pregnant Women

  • Alcohol misuse screening and counseling
  • Anemia screening
  • Bacteriuria screening
  • Rh Incompatibility screening Note: this test is to be repeated
  • Gestational diabetes screening
  • Hepatitis B screening
  • HIV screening
  • Screenings for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis
  • Tobacco use and cessation counseling
  • Venipuncture for pregnancy required labs

So, try to resist the temptation to get advice from your friends and family members—unless your crazy aunt is really “Aunt Millie, M.D.”—you probably should look for a licensed and credentialed doctor. And if you want to look at stats, our transparency tools let you compare doctors, read reviews, see certifications and compare costs for common services and procedures.

*Check your insurance benefits or call customer service at the number listed on your ID card to find out if preventive care services are covered at no out-of-pocket cost to you. Coverage may differ based on the type of health plan you have.

Most recent update: 9/7/2016.V.2