How to Play an Active Role in Protecting Your Health

Sometimes, you need to take an active role in protecting your health.  This could entail more than just watching your diet and exercising. In a healthcare system that prioritizes immediate needs, you may find yourself needing an advocate who can push professionals to act on behalf of your health. Here’s how you can take control and advocate for your own health in Vancouver, WA.

Read the Fine Print

The crux of any insurance plan lies in the fine print. Be sure to read and understand the details before signing a contract with your insurance provider. Know the extent of your coverage, possible ways to violate the agreement, premium costs, and other benefits. With this knowledge, you’ll be aware of which preventive services you can access — and then make a point to do so. The Affordable Care Act requires all health care insurers to provide free preventative services. These services are free of charge even when you have not met your yearly deductible.

Ask Questions

Turn a doctor’s visit from a diagnosis to a knowledge base. Don’t be afraid to push your doctor to go beyond diagnostics and outcomes. Inquire about practical life adjustments and proper nutrition for your age to reduce your susceptibility to future infections and diseases. Ask questions to clarify any terms or instructions you don’t understand.

Seek out Second Opinions

A second opinion is vital for acute or recurring medical conditions. You may need surgical intervention or other life-changing treatments to heal or improve your condition. Don’t hesitate to seek out a second opinion on treatment plans — you’ll get a better sense of what your options are.

Maintain Records

Records are important. Save a PDF of your records on your phone for easy access on the go, even if Wi-Fi isn’t available. Start keeping your own medical record that lists your allergies, adverse reactions to medication, genetic predispositions, underlying conditions, and medication history. These days, medical files will also include more advanced imaging options, so learn how to merge videos online, as well. You’ll be better positioned to inform your doctor about your individual needs.

Review Medical Bills

There’s always room for errors and omissions when human beings process claims. Examine your medical bills and check for overcharges or unperformed procedures. Contact the responsible entity for reimbursement.

Find the Right Professional

Ensure your designated physician is not only board-certified with a license to practice in Vancouver, WA, but someone you’re comfortable with. Ask about your doctor’s qualifications and review publications and testimonials. Are they a member of a professional society? Check the hospital’s website for accreditation and licenses.

Take Control Over Your Lifestyle

Taking control over some areas of your health can help you become a stronger advocate for medical issues that come up in other areas:

  • Follow a balanced diet. Make sure your portions help you maintain a healthy Body Mass Index.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Get at least eight hours of sleep daily.
  • Even if you’re busy — take the stairs, go for a walk, or even get in the water.
  • Find a work-life balance. Make time to relax and de-stress.

Feel better by embracing a healthy lifestyle.

Become Active in Your own Health

These tips will help you become an advocate for your own physical and mental health. For more health advice, contact Shasta Hickman Counseling and Coaching in Vancouver, WA, for health advice.

Written by Katie Conroy

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