How to Make the Most of a Date with Your Doctor

How to Make the Most of a Date with Your Doctor

Wouldn’t it be great to call your doctor and get in to see them when you need to? Waiting to see a care provider can be hard. Left to our own devices, we’re often tempted to self-diagnose.

We call mom to get her advice about what to put on a strange rash that’s suddenly appeared on our body. We Google images trying to find photos of a similar-looking rash. Then we spend hours worrying.

For while, all this seems like we’re doing something. And doing something right away can seem easier than taking the time to find a doctor, make an appointment and wait for that appointment date.

But here’s the thing, good things are worth the effort.

It’s not that hard to build a good relationship with a doctor. You can start by booking your annual health exam. Most wellness exams, also known as preventive care visits, are covered at no out-of-pocket cost to you when you visit a provider in your health plan’s network.

Getting your annual wellness check-up and taking advantage of preventive care services can save you money in the long run. It might end up saving your life if you and your doctor catch something early. Many preventive care services are covered without a cost to you.*

We’ve listed some examples of preventive care services for adults. Remember, check your health benefit plan or contact Customer Service about your coverage. Use our Provider Finder® tool to compare docs and find a PCP in your network.

Preventive Exam

A preventive exam usually includes a medical history and physical exam, recording height, weight and body mass index (BMI), along with immunizations you may need such as:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  • Influenza (Flu)
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella
  • Meningococcal
  • Pneumococcal
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Zoster
Screening Tests
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Colorectal cancer (using fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy)
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV
  • Lung cancer
  • Obesity
  • Sexually transmitted infection (chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis)
Health Counseling
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Healthy diet
  • Obesity
  • Prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Tobacco cessation
For Women
  • Annual well woman visit
  • Breast cancer screening/mammography
  • Cervical cancer screening including Pap smear
  • Osteoporosis screening
  • Genetic counseling and evaluation for BRCA testing where family history is associated with an increased risk
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA test
  • Breastfeeding
  • Intimate partner violence counseling and screening
  • Contraception
For Pregnant Women
  • Alcohol misuse screening and counseling
  • Anemia screening
  • Bacteriuria screening
  • Rh incompatibility screening
  • Gestational diabetes screening
  • Hepatitis B screening
  • HIV screening
  • Screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Tobacco use and cessation counseling
  • Venipuncture for pregnancy required labs

Remember, your doctor is an ally. Turn to your physician when you have questions about your health. Resist the temptation to get advice from your friends and family members. Look for a licensed and credentialed doctor. And if you want to look at stats, our transparency tools let you compare doctors, read reviews, see certifications and compare costs for common services and procedures.

*Check your insurance benefits or call customer service at the number listed on your ID card to find out if preventive care services are covered at no out-of-pocket cost to you. Coverage may differ based on the type of health plan you have.

 Originally published 6/1/2016; Revised 2016, 2021, 2023