November is known as the time for employers to furnish their employees with the next year’s health insurance and other benefits plans. It comes and goes at a fast pace. We are often caught unawares, and it’s something we have to do proactively every year.
My suggestion as we come upon the first of November is to take a health inventory. This would include what services and insurance benefits you used this past year, and what you expect to use next year so you can choose the best plan for you and your family without rushing around in the twenty-four hours of the very last day.
Take your health inventory.
Are you due for a tetanus shot? Any other missing vaccinations? Flu shot?
Have you had your yearly physical?
Is it time for a pap smear or mammogram? Prostate screening?
How are your eyes? Do your glasses need updating? Do you need glasses?
How’s your hearing? I just got hearing aids, and I’m still adjusting to them. It’s not like going from deaf to hearing, but it is quite an adjustment to the new sounds that I’m noticing – the rattles in the car, the water and heat through the pipes in my house, the tapping of the keyboard I’m using right now. (I honestly can’t believe how loud it is!)
Take a medication inventory.
Are all of your medications up to date? Are they still working the way they’re supposed to? It may be time to change some dosages.
How’s your weight? Mine could do with some losing and increasing some exercise. On her TV talk show, Rosie O’Donnell used to say, “Eat less, move more.” Simple and yet really good advice that anyone can succeed at. Keep a food and exercise log. It’s not to guilt you into doing the right thing, but it’s good to see how far you advance from where you had started.
How’s your blood pressure?
Another simple, healthy choice is less salt and sugar. Less is more. Can’t go wrong with that. Smoke less, or stop completely. Drink in moderation.
Laugh. And sing. It’s good for your heart. And your head.
Take a mental health inventory/check-up.
Any depression? Anxiety? If yes, mention it to your doctor. Don’t put it off and let it sneak up on you.
Keep in contact with your doctor, and your health care administrator at work. Look at all of the available plans and compare them to what you have now. It’s not always better to take the cheapest plan, and by the same token it’s not always better to take the more expensive plan. Know your needs, and choose based on that.
Are you eligible for the Affordable Care Act? Medicare? Medicaid?
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2019!