With a little over one month left in 2019, many people are busy thinking about their holiday preparations, end-of-year vacations, and a million other things on their to-do lists. But there is one very important item you want to make sure you do before the clock chimes on midnight Jan. 1, 2020: get your annual physical exam.
Most insurance companies cover a yearly physical exam, so you want to make sure you do this before the new year (and new deductibles) happen. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they even start.
Some of the things your doctor might check or test for include: breast and cervical cancer, cholesterol, high blood pressure, immunizations, oral health, prostate cancer, skin cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other issues. They will ask about your age, health, family history and lifestyle choices to determine what issues you are at risk for, and then they will offer the appropriate screenings, services and treatments to help.
This is also a good time to mention any body changes, pains, menstrual cycle changes, depression, trauma, sleeping problems or anything else that is worrisome to you.
If your doctor finds a more serious problem, then they will be able to work on a treatment plan early on. This greatly increases the chances for a cure. Additionally, now is the best time for additional tests and services, as most of us have already met our deductible for the year and any additional visits should be free.
With so many other things going on right now, going to the doctor for a physical exam is the last thing anyone wants to do. Trust me, I get it! But look at the positives: worst case, the doctor finds something early and can treat it; best case, you are totally fine and have one less thing to worry about. Don’t wait until it’s too late – or until you have higher co-pays – to see the doctor. You definitely won’t regret going now!