Life can be pretty difficult. The kids. The bills. Your job, or even your jobs. Those surprises that pop up each day and take your time and energy.
Getting to the doctor for an annual physical may not be the easiest task to complete when you only have a few free minutes in your day. The same goes for exercising, organizing your medication, or even signing up for health insurance.
Despite these road blocks, finding the time to stay healthy is important for both you and your family. Here are a handful of ideas to consider when focusing on your health.
Let’s say you missed a letter or phone call reminding you to renew your health care coverage. Or, maybe you haven’t had health insurance for a while, and you want to sign up again. It’s important to remember that most people have to renew their coverage yearly.
While the process to sign up can sometimes be confusing, there are many ways to get help. To start, contact CDPHP by calling the number on your ID card, or, you can find contact information for member services at our website. Other resources include:
- Customer Connect locations, where you can meet with CDPHP in the community.
- For Medicaid members, visit one of these locations to have your enrollment questions answered. You can also request an appointment to discuss your options for coverage.
Choosing a Doctor
It’s important to mention if you are enrolling in Medicaid, you’ll have to have a primary doctor. You’ll either pick a doctor, or one will be assigned to you. Don’t worry – you aren’t required to stay with that doctor. For example, you might already have a doctor that you like to see, or might want to choose a doctor that is closer to where you live or work.
To make a change to another primary doctor, just call CDPHP.
Going to Appointments
Sometimes, you just need a little help getting to your appointment. If that’s the case, there are many resources available. You can contact your local Department of Social Services, or contact Medical Answering Services (MAS) for help with finding transportation. These numbers are available in your Medicaid member handbook.
CDPHP can help as well. Contact us if you have questions about ways to get to and from your appointment.
Keeping track of important health information can help you when you are visiting the doctor for a check-up, or even if you’re experiencing an emergency. Having as much information as possible available during these visits or situations will help you communicate your health history, and will be vital as you begin to receive care.
A great tool to help you stay organized is the CDPHP My Health Tracker. The tracker gives you space to list information about your doctor, dentist, and pharmacy, space to write down information about your visits, and for reminders for screenings and immunizations you should get. This is an easy-to-use resource to keep track of health information for your kids, too.
Keeping Track of Your Medications
Have you forgotten what medications you’ve taken in the past, or the names of the ones you’re taking right now? Be sure to use My Health Tracker, or keep your list in some other way. This will help you:
- When your doctor’s office asks for a list of medications before or during a visit
- During emergencies when you may not be able to remember every medication you or a family member may take
- For your own records, specifically to remember what medications you or a family member have taken in the past
Communication is Key
If you don’t understand something that your doctor tells you, ask them to clarify. A conversation with your doctor should never be one-sided, and you should feel comfortable walking away from an appointment knowing that you understand the information you need about your health.
Here are three questions, part of the Ask Me 3® program run by the National Patient Safety Foundation, which can help clear up some of the confusion when you go to the doctor.
- What is my main problem?
- What do I need to do?
- Why is it important for me to do this?
These questions are a starting point, and may not make sense to ask at every appointment. If you can, take a few moments before your doctor’s appointment to come up with or write down your own questions about your medications, something you’re confused about, or concerns you have about your health.
You can take advantage of the following resources, if you’re looking for additional ways to make some healthy changes in your life:
- CDPHP Smoke-Free™: CDPHP partners with Roswell Park Cancer Institute to provide this no-cost, phone-based counseling program. You can receive up to eight phone sessions per year with a quit coach, as well as 16 weeks of nicotine replacement therapy.
- Healthy Living Center: This partnership between the Capital District YMCA, CDPHP, and Hannaford offers a variety of classes, programs, and workshops led by dietitians, pharmacists, and certified instructors.
- Capital Roots Veggie Mobile: This mobile market, sponsored by CDPHP, travels to neighborhoods in Albany, Rensselaer, and Schenectady counties, providing a variety of fresh, affordable, and local produce.
- CDPHP Cycle: A state-of-the-art bike-share program that gives you an affordable way to stay healthy, and to get around the Capital Region. CDPHP members are also eligible for a 20 percent discount on all purchases.
- CDPHP wellness classes: These classes can be found in your neighborhood, and around the Capital Region.
- Medicaid Connect app: This app provides Medicaid members an easy way to speak with a member services representative, and access to the CDPHP Find-A-Doc tool.
Be sure to contact CDPHP at the number on your member ID card if you have additional questions about your coverage, or resources that are available through your plan.