This is a post about my own personal opinion and knowledge and what I have learned working with physicians and fitness. It is not necessarily a proper representation of my employer.
ACA will begin to cover many recommended services that weren’t covered before. A good resource for these additional preventative services is Healthcare.gov.
One of the most valuable changes, in my opinion, is diet and obesity counseling. If you are ready to make a change in your lifestyle behaviors to help reduce the risk of future (OR CURRENT!) chronic conditions, you need to be paying attention to this benefit.
So what should you do?
Step 1: Check with your insurance provider to find out what’s included in your plan. Depending on your insurance, you may be able to get diet and/or obesity counseling at no cost to you.
Step 2: Contact your primary care physician. I recommend using their online portal, if they have one, to message them about your interest in this service. Be prepared that they may not specialize in this type of counseling and may need to refer you to someone else. If you want the physician to be the most effective, ask about their methods and listen for the following words that may help to ensure that they use an evidence-based methods:
- Motivational Interviewing
- Stages of Change
- AIM-HI! (aka Americans In Motion Healthy Interventions, if they aren’t using it, ask if they are an AAFP member and encourage them to get the free resources and patient education)
Step 3: Make an appointment or plan to discuss this with your physician at your annual wellness visit.
Step 4: If they ask you to keep a food journal – DO IT! This is one of the best and most proven ways of becoming more aware of your current fitness levels and will also give the physician an idea of where you can make they most effective small changes to improve your overall health.
Please let me know if this post is helpful for you or if you want more information about how to take care of YOU!