Many of us use the fresh start of a new year to set resolutions to change bad habits or to improve our health. Unfortunately, by the time we reach Valentine’s Day, most resolutions have failed. In fact, eight out of 10 resolutions fail by the second week of February, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Why not make this the year that you fully review and use your benefits? Now’s the time to discover everything your benefits package has to offer, schedule annual appointments and determine how to maximize your investment. Using your benefits is less a resolution and more of a commitment to you and your family’s health.
It’s easier than you think to get started. Here are a few tips to kick off your new year of living healthy:
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- Gather all of your health benefit information in one place – physical or virtual – for easy access. This includes medical, vision, dental insurance plans, flexible spending account information, prescription plans, and short-term and long-term disability plans.
- Set aside 15 minutes each day for one to two weeks to review the plans for new details or changes. Email questions to your plan providers or create an account for your carriers and search their websites for answers.
- Schedule an annual physical exam with your family physician. Be sure to request enough time for any blood work that might be due.
- Call your optometrist and schedule your vision exam and determine, if needed, whether you are eligible to order contacts or glasses in the new year. Regular eye exams can detect small changes to eye health and give the optometrist a chance to investigate potential issues.
- Schedule your annual dental exams. Regular preventive exams with your dentist can identify more than 120 different diseases in other parts of the body in addition to early oral health issues like cavities or gum disease.
- Schedule required diagnostic tests like mammograms, colonoscopies, gynecological exams and other specialties.
Eliminating questions and scheduling annual exams takes a little commitment now, but these actions will pay off with early detection of illness or, better yet, the peace of mind that everything is fine. Make this year the year you decide to understand and use your health benefits wisely.
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