Single Sisters Speak Out

The Modern Life of the Single Sister

SSSO Health December 8, 2008

Ladies and Gents,

Women often run around doing so much they forget to take care of themselves.  It’s important to remember that each year we need to do a well woman visit.  Here are some tips and tricks to get through that smoothly…women take and share and men share with the women in your lives!

An annual exam is part of your health care. If it has been more than 12 months, please contact your health care provider to schedule an exam.

What is an annual exam?

An annual exam is a once-a-year visit to your primary care provider for a general health check, including a breast exam and pap smear. An annual exam visit does not include discussion of new problems or detailed review of chronic conditions. Annual exams are also called routine check-up, yearly exam, annual pap, and preventive visit.

Please schedule a separate appointment if you have health concerns other than your routine physical exam. Examples are:

  • A list of concerns or questions.
  • New health care concerns or problems found at the time of your annual exam.
  • Ongoing health problems that need more attention.

What should I expect during my annual exam?

  • General physical exam (including breast exam)
  • Pelvic exam (pap smear)
  • Update of life and work situation
  • Update of family health history (any new serious illnesses in your family?)
  • Review of your health history
  • Update of current medications, herbs, and supplements (bring list)
  • Need for medication refills
  • Evaluation of need for health screening tests based on age and personal and family history (such as mammogram, test for sexually transmitted diseases, and colon cancer screening)
  • Update on immunizations

What happens if you have a new health problem when you come for your annual exam?

You and your provider will need to decide whether to use the time that day to address your problem, in which case your annual exam visit can be rescheduled. Or you may choose to go ahead with your annual exam, and to defer the health concern to another visit. Scheduled appointment times do not allow for both.

Primary Care Provider (PCP)

If your PCP is outside our clinic, we will do only a women’s health-focused visit that addresses gynecological issues (includes a breast and pelvic exam) rather than a full preventive medicine visit.

Under the Washington Women’s Health Act, you may self-refer to any gynecologic condition. Confirm this when you meet with your provider. If you are self-referring for women’s health care, make sure you are scheduled for a “pap/pelvic/breast” exam.

Insurance Coverage Issues:

  • Please check your insurance policy to make sure you are covered for yearly preventive medicine visits or women’s health pap/pelvic/breast exam. Different insurance policies have different rules for preventive care coverage.
  • Most insurance companies allow for only one annual exam per 12-month period (and some will not pay for a visit even a few days before the your is up).

Medicare Issues

  • Medicare covers paps every two years, mammograms every year, colon cancer screening, and routine vaccinations.
  • If you are considered high risk, Medicare will pay for annual pap smears.
  • Medicare does not cover routine annual exams. You may choose to pay for routine physicals and tests out-of-pocket.

Source: University of Washington, Women’s Health Department


10 Responses to “SSSO Health”

  1. jg14 Says:

    This is awesome. My blog is trying to form a network of young women (preferably sistas) who are interested in running to get fit and raise money for great causes! Check it out!

  2. Jaci Says:

    Thanks JG*! I am going to have to update over here as well as add you to the blogroll!

  3. Ex Boyfriend Says:

    Not that I’m impressed a lot, but this is a lot more than I expected for when I found a link on Digg telling that the info is awesome. Thanks.

  4. Finally someone who can write a good blog ! I loved your post and will be telling others about it. Subscribing to your RSS feed now. Thanks

  5. Great stuff. Nice to read some well written posts that have some relevancy !

  6. I have read a few of your posts and they are all interesting and informative…keep up the good work.

  7. A fantastic read….very literate and informative. Many thanks….where is your RSS button ?

  8. Jaci Says:

    @WestLosAngeles-Check under the Meta section under either entries RSS or comments RSS.

    We’ll be in touch soon.

  9. Elly P. Says:

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  10. Team Roster Says:

    Best you should edit the post name title SSSO Health Single Sisters Speak Out to more catching for your webpage you write. I loved the the writing even sononetheless.

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