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  • Sasha Anand

Adulting 101: Doctors Appointments and Health Insurance

By Samantha Quinones


If there’s one thing Gen Z hates more than the patriarchy, it’s calling to make a doctor’s appointment. Luckily, we got you covered. Here’s all the ins and outs on how to navigate the world of your medical health when you become an adult.


 

How to schedule a doctor’s appointment:


1.Locate what office you will be going to. Ideally, it should be your primary care office, but if no appointments are available in the time frame you need, book one with an office close to where you live. 

2. Check if you have health insurance so you can roughly guess how much money you will need to pay for the visit. 

3. Make the phone call.

While this may seem daunting, there is a very easy script to follow:


Hi, my name is ___ and I’m calling to schedule an appointment with doctor _____ sometime next week/asap/around [available dates].

If you are scheduling with a clinic you don’t typically go to, leave out the part about which doctor you would like to have and instead say what you are calling for.


Once the appointment is scheduled, mark it on your calendar and prepare any necessary paper work and/or documents for the visit.

Keeping track of any and all symptoms on a piece of paper could be helpful, or even keeping a log of when you have taken over-the-counter medications so you don’t take too much. Knowing what medication you may take for any chronic illness is also incredibly important so make sure you know what you are taking and ask questions if you aren’t sure. 

On the day of the visit, SHOW UP EARLY! This will stop any stress of being late and you will have plenty of time to fill out any necessary paperwork and get in and out quickly.


If your doctor gives you a prescription, make sure you know exactly how they plan to treat you with it, and if they give you specific instructions, ask them to write them down so you don’t forget. 


And you’ve done it! You successfully made a doctor’s appointment, so what’s next?


Common appointments you have to schedule as an adult

  • Annual check up w/ primary care doctor

  • Women: Gynecology appointment 

  • Optometry appointment

  • Dentist biyearly checkups/cleanings


 

How to get health insurance:

Open enrollment for a nongroup health plan, [meaning individual health insurance not provided by a job]


starts November 1 and ends December 15 if you want your insurance by January 1,

 OR

January 15 if you want your insurance by February 1. 


During this time period, you can enroll in, renew, or change your health insurance.


This type of insurance is typically used for people who need special plans or are struggling financially.


The easiest way to apply is to go to healthcare.gov and create an account, then submit your application.



 

If your employer offers health insurance, which most do, all you have to do is sign up for health benefits when you’re hired. If you have any questions about what type of health insurance they offer, it’s usually best to ask that during the interviewing period. If you ever do have any extra questions or concerns, make sure to talk to your employer.



 


After reading this article, hopefully you are more prepared and less nervous about this aspect of adulting. Will we still call our mom and ask her what our social security number is when the doctor asks us? Probably. But at least we can schedule that appointment on our own and impress her with our social skills. It’s the small wins that count. Stay educated, healthy and [hopefully] happy. Good luck!

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