According to data collected by the CDC, there are 2,854,838 deaths recorded in the U.S. each year. The leading causes of death are heart disease and cancer with 659,041 and 599,601 deaths each year. 

Whether you’re struggling with a health condition or not, it’s important to schedule annual wellness visits to prevent illnesses from leading to death. Find out more reasons why it’s important to go to your annual checkup. Keep reading to learn more. 

1. A Wellness Visit Can Catch an Illness Early The most important reason why you need to go to a wellness visit each year is that it can help you catch an illness at an early stage. It’s important to take control of your life and health and act preventatively instead of waiting until an illness has progressed.  You might not know you have an illness but going to your annual checkup can detect it. You can then work with your Nurse Practitioner to come up with a treatment plan that can save your life, 

2. You’ll Discuss Your Health History  Discussing health history is a vital part of your wellness plan. During your annual visit, your Nurse Practitioner will ask about any changes in your health and your family medical history.  Some of this information might already be in your records but speaking about any changes can help your Nurse Practitioner determine what kinds of examinations you’ll need to find out if you’re suffering from any health conditions.  Check out some of our resources for patients on the Ohana Health website. Here you’ll find annual wellness visit forms your Nurse Practitioner might ask you to fill out before your appointment. 

3. It’s a Free Health Benefit (if you have insurance) The majority of health insurance plans offer free annual wellness visits. You don’t have to worry about a co-pay because you haven’t met your deductible.  If you don’t have to pay any out-of-pocket costs, why wouldn’t you take advantage of this free health service? Most annual checkups offer free blood pressure screenings and bloodwork to check your cholesterol.  Some wellness visits also offer cancer screenings and counseling for tobacco use. 

4. Your Health Can Change Over Time  Annual wellness visits are vital even if you’re young and healthy. Long-term health changes as you age and you’ll need to monitor any changes yearly to maintain good health.  You might not notice changes from day to day, but your Nurse Practitioner will be able to track health changes each year. Discuss any new symptoms you’re having during your checkup so your Nurse Practitioner can determine what problem you may be experiencing. 

5. You’ll Develop a Good Relationship With Your Nurse Practitioner.  Having a good relationship with healthcare providers is vital to taking care of your healthcare needs. You’ll develop a good relationship with your Nurse Practitioners by going to your wellness screenings each year.  It might feel uncomfortable to open up about some of the health changes you’re experiencing, but it’s crucial to have an honest dialogue with your Nurse Practitioner about what you’re feeling so they can help you create a plan of action. 

6. Your Nurse Practitioner Will Review All of Your Medications  Your annual wellness visit is also important because it’s the time when your Nurse Practitioner will review all of the medications you take. During the visit, your Nurse Practitioner will go through your list of medications, the ones prescribed by other providers as well, and determine if any counterintuitive interactions might be occurring.  Your Nurse Practitioner will also determine if you require dosage or medication changes during this visit. You shouldn’t miss it. 

7. A Wellness Visit Can Help You Develop Good Health Habits  A wellness visit isn’t just for your Nurse Practitioner to prescribe you treatments for illnesses. At these visits, your Nurse Practitioner will screen you to determine what health risk you have based on your health history and your lifestyle.  During the visit, you’ll work with your Nurse Practitioner to come up with a plan that can include treatment and lifestyle changes to improve your health. Your Nurse Practitioner can provide you with resources to help you develop healthy habits. 

8. You’ll End Up Saving Money Long Term Another benefit to going to your annual wellness visit is that it’ll help you save money long term. Since most annual checkups are free, you won’t lose anything by going to them every year.  If you avoid your annual checkups, you might not catch an illness that could’ve been prevented. This could lead to expensive treatments you wouldn’t have required had you taken care of your health early on. 

9. Build Your Healthcare Team  Scheduling wellness visits allow you to build the best healthcare team for your own health needs. After an initial checkup with your primary care physician, you’ll know what other Nurse Practitioners you’ll need for any illnesses you might have.  Armed with information about your health, you’ll be able to choose the Nurse Practitioners you want to help you manage your illnesses. Having a good team of Nurse Practitioners is the best way to stay healthy and live a long life. 

10. Keep Your Vaccinations up to Date During your wellness visit, you’ll also discuss vaccinations with your Nurse Practitioner. There are certain vaccines you need each year and others that are required after a certain age. Your Nurse Practitioner will let you know what vaccines you might need during the visit. 

The Importance of Annual Wellness Visits Explained  The guide above explains all the reasons why it’s important to schedule annual wellness visits. Catching a disease in the early stages and developing a good relationship with your Nurse Practitioner are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t miss your yearly check up.  Are you interested in enrolling in the Ohana Health Membership? 

Lila Stevens

Lila Stevens


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