Healthcare 101, Health Care Guides, Health Tips

Don't Delay Your Annual Health Screenings

02/18/2022

Annual doctor visits and health screenings have long been considered the cornerstone of preventative healthcare. Over the course of the pandemic, however, many have put off seeing their providers and completing their screenings due to concerns about social distancing and exposure.  

Findings show that Americans missed nearly 10 million cancer screenings, including mammograms, colonoscopies, and prostate exams, during COVID-191. According to a Delta Dental survey, 52% of adults said they or a family member also skipped or delayed dental care2. 

The risks that come from missed screenings and wellness checks may outweigh the potential exposure to COVID-19, according to experts3. If you’re wondering whether it’s time to reschedule those visits with your provider, here are some key reasons to pick up the phone or get online and make those appointments.  

 

Early Detection 

Annual medical screenings for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, osteoporosis, and other health conditions, are essential to early detection and prevention. These proactive health screenings allow your doctor to find signs of potential disease and health issues before they progress and become more difficult as well as more costly to treat.  

 

A Chance to Ask Questions 

Your annual wellness check or dental exam is the perfect opportunity for you to address any health-related concerns or questions with your doctor while you have his or her undivided attention. Prepare a list of topics ahead of time to discuss with your doctor so you don’t forget. You may also want to go over your current medications, so bring a list of those as well. 

 

Peace of Mind 

Getting an all-clear from your annual screenings can go a long way toward reducing uncertainty, anxiety, and stress you and your family may be experiencing around potential health concerns. Knowing you’re healthy is much better than assuming you are. 

 

Build Trust with Your Provider 

Annual exams and screenings are an effective way to strengthen your provider relationship and confidence, and allow you to get to know one another better. The more your doctor or dentist knows about you, your medical history, status, and concerns, the better the level of care you receive. 

 

Don’t Neglect Your Teeth 

It’s equally important to continue undergoing annual exams with your dentist. By delaying regular dental checkups, even small issues like cavities can turn into bigger, more painful, and more expensive problems like a root canal or tooth extraction. During a dental exam, your doctor can find any potential problems like a cracked tooth or early-stage gum disease that could lead to more serious issues if left untreated.  

Keeping up with regular dental exams also helps keeps your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy. While daily brushing and flossing are important, the professional cleaning provided by your dentist and hygienist go well beyond toothpaste to eliminate plaque, tarter, and bacteria that can lead to more serious dental issues and disease. 

 

Provider COVID-19 Protocols 

Despite the clear health benefits of annual screenings and exams, you may still have hesitations about visiting your doctor during the pandemic. Rest assured that dental and medical practices are taking every measure to keep their environments and patients safe, with rigorous COVID-19 protocols. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to contact your provider to ask what they’re doing to protect you during your visits. 

 

Telehealth as an Option 

Many providers are also offering expanded telehealth options for their patients during the pandemic. While in-person visits are necessary for screenings such as mammograms and colonoscopies, telehealth visits are a viable alternative for basic wellness checks and consultations. Be sure to ask your provider about their telemedicine services. 

Make sure your health plan is also playing an active role in your preventative health care. Look for a plan that supports telemedicine and provides helpful reminders for annual screenings and exams. Some health plans will even connect you with a dedicated, multidisciplinary team to help you manage your health and any chronic conditions. 

 

If you’re not sure whether your health plan offers these features, contact SureCo. We’re here to help you find health insurance that works with your provider to keep you living healthy now and in the future. Call (800) 467-4898 today. 

 

  1. https://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20210505/nearly-10-million-cancer-screenings-missed-during-pandemic
  2. https://www.dentistry.com/articles/dentistry-in-the-time-of-covid-19-what-you-need-to-know-now
  3. https://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/news/2020/05/19/benefits-of-preventive-screenings-may-far-outweigh.html

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