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Expert recommendations for being proactive with your health

Experts give advice on doctor’s visits, nutrition, emotional health and utilizing your healthcare plan. Sponsored by Premera

When it comes to your overall health, it’s important to get annual screenings and take care of yourself mentally and physically. 

“We all should be our best advocates for our own health,” said Dr. Steven Jacobson, medical director at Premera. “It’s really an important thing in all of our lives, and there’s a lot we should be doing for that.”

Dr. Jacobson recommends finding a primary care team that will give advice on needed screenings and immunizations to keep you safe and healthy. Premera has a tool on their website to help people find a primary care physician — but asking family, friends and community members for their suggestions is a great option as well.

Proper nutrition is also an essential component of preventative care. This includes eating fewer foods with high sugar and fat content and drinking fewer sugary drinks.

“There’s a lot of room for improvement for most of us,” Dr. Jacobson said. “I think if you focus on healthy fruits and vegetables and plenty of water, that’s a good start right there.”

Another focus is emotional health and ensuring you have a solid support system in place. Volunteering within the community and practicing forgiveness to yourself and others can help improve your well-being.

“Holding a grudge doesn’t do anyone any good,” Dr. Jacobson said. 

For routine, preventative medical care, health care plans often provide full coverage. While this type of care may have taken a backseat throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important for your health to get caught up. 

“My ask and my wish is everybody get out their calendar and if you haven’t scheduled that routine care, make it a priority,” said Kristin Meadows, Vice President of Individual Markets at Premera. "The great thing about routine care is that oftentimes benefits have full coverage, so you can go to the doctor without any cost."

Open enrollment is taking place now for Medicare Advantage, and enrollment for healthcare plans will open within weeks for the individual market. 

On Premera's website, you can find an in-network primary care doctor, see your local Urgent care options to help manage medical costs (as opposed to emergency room visits) and much more. 

Sponsored by Premera as part of KING 5's "Self-Care Essentials" special presentation. Segment Producer Joseph Suttner. Watch New Day Northwest 11 AM weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.com. Contact New Day