7 questions to ask your doctor at your next visit

By Regence
January 26, 2024
dr appointment

Now is a great time to schedule an annual wellness visit or routine check-up with your personal doctor, also known as a primary care provider (PCP). Here are some questions you could ask during the visit to help prevent future illness and save money on your health care costs.

Questions about preventive care

1. What preventive services and screenings do you recommend for me? Depending on your medical history and family history, your doctor may recommend lab work to check for certain diseases or conditions. They may also recommend screening procedures — such as a colorectal cancer screening, bone mineral density test, mammogram, or Pap smear test. If your doctor recommends tests and screenings, you might want to ask how the tests will be administered, if you need to do anything to prepare, and how you’ll be informed of the results.

  • Many preventive services and screenings are covered by most Regence plans with no copay and no deductible. However, some diagnostic tests, labs and procedures may have a cost share responsibility. Check your benefits at regence.com or call the number on your member ID card for more details and to confirm your coverage. 

2. What vaccinations should I get? Some vaccinations, such as for flu, are recommended annually. There are also some newer vaccines you may not have gotten yet, such as vaccines for COVID-19, RSV, pneumonia, and shingles. Your personal doctor can recommend the vaccines that are right for you.

  • Vaccines are covered by most Regence plans at no cost, but deductibles, copays and coinsurance may apply. To check your coverage, sign in to your account at regence.com or call us at the number on your member ID card.

3. How much and what kinds of physical activity do I need to stay healthy and avoid falls and injuries? Your doctor can suggest strengthening exercises and other ways you can be physically active, tailored to your specific needs and health conditions.

  • Some plans include discounts on fitness-related products and services like fitness devices and gym memberships. For example, Regence Medicare Advantage plans offer a no-cost Silver&Fit® fitness program that includes a gym membership, unlimited access to videos and live streaming classes, and coaching over the phone. Check your account at regence.com to learn what fitness and wellness benefits are included in your plan.

4. What can I do to improve my mental health? Your doctor can do a screening with you to check for mental health risks like depression and anxiety. They can suggest activities that can help, as well as prescribe medications and refer you to a mental health counselor as needed.

  • Most of our health plans offer virtual mental health treatment options from providers such as Doctor on Demand, Charlie Health (not available for Medicare plans), and more. No referral is needed — you can visit the provider website and fill out their intake form for an appointment. 

5. How can I avoid cognitive decline? Your doctor may be able to suggest things you can try to stay mentally strong as you age, such as social interaction and regular cognitive exercise, or prescribe medications that can lower the risk of developing mental disorders. If you’re suffering from hearing loss, getting hearing aids and other hearing treatments have been shown to help slow cognitive decline.

  • Regence Medicare Advantage plans include zero cost routine hearing exams and coverage for up to two hearing aids.

Questions related to prescription drugs

6. Should any changes be made to my prescriptions? Review the list of prescription drugs you’re taking with your doctor, as well as dosages, supplements, and any over-the-counter drugs you take regularly. Your body can change over time, so the drugs you’re taking may need to change as well. You may be able to stop taking a drug or change to a different dose, or you may need to start taking a new drug.

7. Is there anything I can do to save money on my prescription drugs? Your doctor may be able to help you save, such as changing your prescription to a generic or other less expensive alternative drug. They may be able to refer you to discount programs. They may also be able to prescribe a 90-day supply of your ongoing medications, which can reduce copays and trips to the pharmacy. Members on a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage can get a 100-day supply for the price of 90-days.

Other prescription drug savings ideas:

  • You can compare drug prices at various pharmacies and shop around for the best deals using the price comparison tool when you sign in at regence.com.  
  • Most prescription drug plans have different tiers of covered drugs, and you can often save money by using drugs on the Tier 1 drug list. Ask your doctor to look at our drug formulary — also called a covered drug list — and switch you to Tier 1 drugs where possible.
  • Regence also offers a discount program for Medicare members that can save you up to 90% on prescribed drugs that aren’t covered by Medicare, including some prescription and over-the-counter drugs and multivitamins. Show your pharmacy the information below so they can submit the claim for your possible discount:

BIN: 022006  
MEMBER ID: Your 10-digit phone # (no dash or space) 

A word of caution about your coverage

Most Regence plans cover an Annual Wellness Visit or annual check-up at no cost to you. However, you may have to pay additional coinsurance or cost shares if your doctor ends up performing any diagnostic tests or procedures during your visit.

We’re here to help

If you have any questions about your plan’s coverage or need help finding care, sign in to your account at regence.com and use the Chat feature, or call us using the number on your member ID card.