Going uninsured is risky, even if you're young and healthy. Accidents can always happen, and illnesses can strike without warning, especially during a pandemic. There are affordable health insurance plans available for everyone, with deductibles and monthly premiums to fit any budget. If you've been without health insurance for a while, there are a few things you can do to make the most of your new health insurance. Here are the four things you should do first:
1. Get a check-up
Annual check-ups can help you avoid serious illnesses. These health screenings allow doctors to catch elevated blood glucose levels, excess weight gain, and other common symptoms that can indicate the early stages of serious diseases. Most people without health insurance don't go to the doctor unless something is wrong. As soon as you get your new health insurance, you should schedule a check-up, even if you feel fine. In addition to serving a diagnostic function, this check-up will allow your doctor to observe your current baseline level of health for future reference.
2. Choose your emergency contacts
Your medical records include basic information about you, including your emergency contacts. Your emergency contacts will be alerted in the event of a life-threatening emergency. These are the people who will be alerted if you're too sick or injured to call them yourself. Choosing your emergency contacts will ensure that your closest family members stay in the loop when it comes to your health care. Contact your primary care provider to choose your emergency contacts.
3. Catch up on your vaccines
Vaccines protect you from serious illnesses, like measles, mumps, and tetanus. Vaccines lose their efficacy after several years, which is why booster shots are necessary. When you have health insurance, you can catch up on any vaccine dosages you've missed. Schedule a vaccination appointment with your primary doctor.
4. Get tested at the first sign of illness
While the coronavirus pandemic continues, prudence and caution are advised. COVID-19 testing can let you know whether or not you've contracted this illness. If you feel ill, especially if you have the symptoms of COVID-19, such as shortness of breath and a fever, you should contact your doctor to schedule a swab test. The test will be sent to a lab where it will be cultured and tested for the presence of the coronavirus. A positive or negative result will give you the information you need to make smart health care decisions for yourself and your community.