SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Good Things Utah) – We’ve gotten used to the convenience of urgent care centers and similar resources when we’re dealing with minor, acute issues like the common cold. In terms of our long-term health, though, your primary care provider is your first line of defense.

Dr. Skyler Nguyen, a family medicine physician with Optum Utah, explains that when you build a long-term, trusting relationship with your primary care physician, that naturally leads to a more personalized experience. “And personalized care can lead to healthier long-term outcomes.”

That’s because your primary care provider already knows your family and personal medical history, factors that may put you at risk for a number of health conditions, and what your personal health goals are. With all this information already at hand, your doctor is better able to help you achieve your long-term goals.

The care professionals at Optum stress the importance of this doctor-patient relationship, pursuing health care with the goal to help people stay healthy in the first place, and not just help them get better when they’re sick. “We have a large network of providers, covering many specialties, all working together, in pursuit of this common goal,” says Dr. Nguyen.

It’s also particularly important for Medicare-eligible adults who may be thinking about their coverage options during the Annual Enrollment Period, or AEP, which is going on now through December 7. AEP is the once-a-year opportunity for Medicare patients to make changes to their plans. “There’s no one-size-fits-all health care plan for everyone, but for most of us, our health starts with our primary care provider.”

Dr. Nguyen suggests that having that close relationship with your doctor can give you a better idea of the kinds of options that may be important to you in a Medicare plan. And from there? “You can always talk to a licensed, independent insurance agent. They can walk you through the coverage options available to you, and help you pick the plan that’s right for you.”

If you’d like to learn more about the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, you can visit

You can also visit for more information and resources.

Sponsored by Optum.