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8 Ways to Advocate for Your Health


These days, many healthcare providers are subject to corporate practice quotas requiring them to see more patients for shorter appointments. As a result, physicians often sacrifice interpersonal relationships with their patients, potentially leading to health oversights.


1. Schedule Preventative Care


Many health insurances plans cover costs for preventative wellness visits and screenings. If your health insurance offers these benefits, taking advantage of them will lower your risk of severe illness and improve your chances for recovery if screening reveals a problem.


2. Always Ask Questions or Speak Up


Healthcare providers often use medical terms that patients do not recognize; therefore, it is critical to ask for clarification. Also, correcting a physician who misinterprets your symptom description is essential for a correct diagnosis and effective treatment. You may also request a friend or relative familiar with your condition to accompany you to your medical appointment for additional insight. Finally, you should feel comfortable asking for a second opinion or reviewing your medical bills for potential errors.


3. Keep a Healthcare Journal


Maintaining a journal of your illnesses, injuries, treatments, vaccinations, and prescriptions can help you accurately answer questions about your medical history to help a doctor discern an appropriate treatment. A journal can also help you track symptoms and remember questions to ask providers.


You should also include updated copies of your medical records in your journal. To avoid confusion, try merging the documents so that you’ll have everything in one place; if you aren’t sure where to start, this tool will let you merge PDF documents for free in moments. That way, you can view your records whenever you need to.


4. Know Your Insurance Policy's Rules


Many people pay significant health insurance premiums and deductibles without fully understanding their plan’s cost structure and services. Taking time to read through your policy's schedule of benefits will help you get the most value from your plan and avoid overpaying. If you discover that your insurance policy falls short, consider alternatives, if possible.


Keep in mind that if you are a freelancer, you are responsible for your own health insurance. This can be daunting, especially if you are used to employer-provided insurance. However, there are a few steps you can take to make the process as smooth as possible. First, research your options and find a plan that meets your needs and budget. You may also be able to get coverage on a partner’s plan. Then, compare prices and coverage levels to find the best deal. Finally, enroll in the plan and start paying your premiums. Taking these steps ensures you have the coverage you need to protect yourself and your family.


5. Avoid Preventable Delays


Advanced scheduling of predictable and routine tests and procedures can help catch developing health problems. Also, if you need to submit your medical records to new providers before meeting with them, promptly submit record release forms to your existing providers. Help new providers avoid sorting through unnecessary paperwork by using a PDF extractor to cut relevant details from existing files, then paste them into a new document for their convenience review.


6. Investigate New Health Concerns


Do not hesitate to address health changes, even if they seem minor. Seeking prompt medical advice for persistent or unusual symptoms can prevent their progression or ease your mind.


7. Examine Your Lifestyle


Those with full-time jobs involving sitting all day may argue that they do not have the time or energy to exercise. However, studies show that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to premature death and numerous adverse health consequences, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer that daily movement can mitigate or prevent. Try walking to and from work, enjoying brisk walks during lunch breaks, and taking stairs instead of elevators to reduce your health risks. If you live in an area with a high walkability score, you likely have some parks and other destinations within walking distance that you can enjoy. Putting this score to good use could ultimately have a huge impact on your physical and mental health.


If your lifestyle involves eating most meals out, learn to cook and prepare healthy options at home to gain control of the ingredients you consume and avoid hidden calories that cause weight gain. You can also swap sugary beverages and alcohol for water to positively impact your weight and lower your disease risk.


8. Schedule Vacations


Time away from a job or other obligations can relieve stress that impacts physical and mental well-being. For example, enjoying your favorite sports or changing your environment reduces burnout and anxiety, the leading causes of heart disease, stroke, immune system malfunction, digestive problems, and poor sleep.


Maintaining good health involves having a medical team that makes you feel comfortable and inspires trust. However, no one can advocate for your health better than you can. So, take steps to look after your health – whether taking a closer look at your health insurance or simply getting outside for a walk. When it comes to your well-being, change begins with you.


Guest Writer

Jennifer McGregor is a pre-med student, who loves providing reliable health and medical resources for PublicHealthLibrary.org users. To make it easier for people to search for high-quality information, she co-created Public Health Library - a way to push reputable information on health topics to the forefront, making them more convenient to find. You can reach Jennifer at jennifermcgregor@publichealthlibrary.org

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