Take Charge of Your Health Care

The Basics
Speak up and ask questions at the doctor’s office to get better care for you and your family.

Take Action!
Keep track of your important health information. Start by writing down the names of the medicines you take.

Start Today: Small Steps


The Basics

When you play an active role in your health care, you can improve the quality of the care that you and your family get. Start by speaking up and asking questions at the doctor's office.

Health care is a team effort, and you're the most important member of the team! Your team also includes doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and insurance providers. 

To take charge of your health care:

Take Action!

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Follow these steps to play an active role in your health care.

Keep track of important health information.

Keeping all your health information in one place will make it easier to manage your health care. Take this information with you to every medical appointment.

To start your own personal health record, write down:

If you're not sure about some of this information, check with your doctor’s office.

Know your family health history.

Your family's health history is an important part of your personal health record. Use this family health history tool to keep track of health conditions that run in your family.

See a doctor regularly for checkups.

Getting regular checkups with your doctor or nurse can help you stay healthy. If you don’t have a doctor or nurse, check out these tips for choosing a doctor you can trust.

Regular checkups can help find problems early, when they may be easier to treat.

If you need help finding health care, use these tools to help you choose a doctor, hospital, or nursing home.

What about cost?

Under the  Affordable Care Act, insurance plans must cover many preventive services, like screenings and shots. Plans must also cover well-child visits through age 21 and well-woman visits. 

Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get preventive services at no cost to you. Check with your insurance company for more information.

If you don’t have insurance, check out these resources to help you get health care:

Write down your questions ahead of time.

Write down any questions you have about your health. Take the list with you to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. Use this tool to build your list of questions.

Make the most of doctor visits.

Take your list of questions and personal health record with you to the appointment. You may also want to ask a family member or friend to go with you to help take notes.

Be sure to talk about any changes since your last visit, like:

Follow up after your appointment.

It can take time and hard work to make the healthy changes you talked about with your doctor or nurse. Remember to:

Start Today: Small Steps

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