More and more Americans are skipping out on regular doctor visits, despite preventive care being covered by the Affordable Care Act. Young professionals are more likely than other generations to avoid the doctor.
You folks born between 1982 and 2002 (or thereabouts, depending on your source) are a pretty healthy group. You feel good most of the time, so why bother going through the trouble of seeing a doctor when nothing’s wrong, right?
One survey of over 2,000 Americans commissioned by ZocDoc (a medical scheduling company) and reported on by CNBC found that 93 percent of young professionals were not scheduling preventive visits, compared to an overall average of 80 percent. The top reason was work, but another factor brought up was that appointments are not easy to come by. People mentioned having to book an appointment a month or even two in advance. Another reason people are avoiding the doctor is cost. Although preventive services are covered, sick visits count toward the deductible, which can be a financial strain for young workers.
See Your Doctor to Stay Healthy
You’re in good shape now, and you probably want to stay that way. By visiting a primary care provider annually, you’re able to focus on lifestyle habits that will help you ward off sickness and chronic illnesses.
Some topics you should discuss with your doctor include:
- Family history of diseases (cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.)
- Your nutrition and exercise routines
- How to prevent developing chronic diseases like cancer
- Weight loss planning
- Family planning (now is the time to care about your reproductive health, even if you’re single)
See Your Doctor to Save Money
When you skip regular visits that promote your well-being, you end up only going to see a doctor when you’re sick. At that point, you don’t have an established relationship with a physician, and you may struggle to get an appointment. This leads to a visit to an urgent care center, retail clinic or even the emergency room. Your doctor’s office is likely the cheapest place to receive care. Urgent care centers and emergency rooms, while sometimes more convenient, are going to cost you more in co-pays.
See Your Doctor to Build a Relationship
Seeing the same doctor regularly helps you build a relationship with someone who can recognize changes in your health over time. It’s also nice to have someone whom you feel comfortable asking personal health questions. You also have office staff willing to take the time to answer other questions you have. Health insurance is complicated, and many Americans, not just young professionals, struggle to understand what deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance and other terms mean. You can ask your doctor or office staff to thoroughly explain these terms and what costs you are responsible for paying.
See Your Doctor Because Google Is Not Professional Advice
It’s great to be informed about your health and treatment options. However, self-diagnosing online is not a substitute for professional medical advice. The Internet is full of incorrect and misleading health information. If you have a medical question or concern, your doctor is the best place to seek an answer.
This is the time to establish healthy habits. Otherwise, you may pay for it later.
Make sure you schedule your yearly checkups to help prevent cancer and encourage wellness.Learn More