Focus on your health and make time for preventive care for 2024.

A new year is often a time when you might be thinking about what you want to do differently. This year, make time to focus on your health. Many of us ignore symptoms that could be a sign of more significant health concerns because it seems daunting to address them. Here are some ideas to help you take care of yourself in 2024.

Be proactive about your health with preventive care

Did you know that staying on top of your preventive care is one of the best things you can do for your health? When you check in with your providers regularly, you’re more likely to catch concerns before they turn into major problems. If you don’t already get an annual physical to check blood pressure and cholesterol, that’s a great place to start. And the best news? A preventive care visit and many preventive care services are covered at little or no cost to you.

How do I find a provider?

If you need to find a provider, access your plan’s online directory by visiting the HCA website, selecting your member type (public employees, school employees, retirees, PEBB Continuation Coverage, or SEBB Continuation Coverage), and selecting Find a provider.

Be your own advocate

Working together with your health care providers is crucial for getting good care. This involves:

Preparing. At your next visit, come prepared to ask questions about your health, including the pros and cons of treatments, and if there are alternatives. Some common questions include:

  • Is my blood pressure in a healthy range?
  • Are my blood sugar levels in a healthy range?
  • Are all my vaccinations up to date?
  • Should any changes be made to my medications?
  • What annual screenings do you recommend for me?

Participating. Actively engaging in your health care may also save everyone time. A normal office visit takes about 15 minutes—an incredibly short time for something so important and complex as a person’s health and well-being. Limited time makes it important for you to be prepared for and actively involved in your visit. Your provider may need more time to find the right answers for you, so follow up as needed. Also, follow through on your treatment plan, and let your provider know if your condition changes.

Asking questions. It can be intimidating to ask your provider to explain something differently, but if your provider doesn’t explain things in a way you understand or you have more questions, let them know. Say something like, “Okay, let me see if I understand this correctly.” Or respond to information given to you by stating your understanding. For example, “So are you saying that I have developed a [condition] and that means that I can expect…?” Or, “Can we go over how likely I am to develop a blood clot in my legs when I am under general anesthesia?” If you experience other obstacles, such as not hearing the provider’s explanation clearly, let them know. They may be able to provide the information in another way, such as writing it down to take with you after your visit.

Understand your health coverage before you need it

It’s easy to get lost in the details of your health insurance and find yourself with a bigger out-of-pocket expense than you had expected. The good news is that there are tools to help you.

Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC): All non-Medicare medical plans provide SBCs, which are easy-to-read summaries that let you compare costs and coverage between plans. You can use SBCs to understand some of the plan’s costs, including deductible amounts and copays or coinsurance. They also list some examples of common medical events and the costs associated, as well as services the plan does not cover. To get an SBC for your current (non-Medicare) medical plan, visit the HCA website, select your member type, and then select Medical plans and benefits. You can also access SBCs from your plan’s website or call the plan to request a paper copy at no charge.

Benefits booklet (also called evidence of coverage or certificate of coverage): All health plans publish information about what is covered under the plan and at what cost to members. You can get a copy of these documents by visiting the plan’s website or calling the plan. To find contact information for your health plan, visit the HCA website, select your member type, and then select Contact the plans under Get help.

min read
A- A+