Do you know anyone who doesn’t have a primary care physician? Having a physician who knows your medical history and manages your health has become a standard component of American health care. But for those who don’t have a primary care provider, here are 20 reasons to get  one — now.

1. Continuity of Care: Your Primary Care Provider (PCP) will have a better overall understanding of your health issues and family history.

2.  Preventative Care: Can reduce complications from chronic diseases.

3.  Health management: A PCP can help manage chronic diseases, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

4.  Screenings: You will be informed about preventative screenings and get them in a timely fashion.

5.  Vaccines: Vaccinations are provided when appropriate.

6.  Education: PCPs offer information about health trends, diet and exercise.

7.  Better diagnosis: A PCP can review all your symptoms to determine what care is needed and whether you should see a specialist.

8.  Familiarity: Your PCP will recognize if you have new complaints that may lead to a diagnosis.

9.  Referrals: A PCP can provide referrals to other specialists.

10.  Coordination of Care : PCPs coordinate information between healthcare providers, making sure there is no duplication of testing.

11.  Answer questions: PCPs can read and interpret X-rays, blood tests and urinalysis and can answer questions you may have about the results.

12. Informed decisions: PCPs can help you make informed decisions about your health.

13.  Medication safety: PCPs assist in keeping track of all your medications, to make sure there are no interactions.

14.  Fewer trips to the ER: PCPs can call in a prescription or answer questions over the phone, reducing unnecessary trips to the hospital.

15. Advocate: Can serve as an advocate during an emergency hospital situation.

16.  Lower re-admission rates  : Regular follow-up after a surgery or trip to the ER can prevent being readmitted to the hospital.

17.  Handle uncomfortable topics: People are usually more comfortable talking to someone they see regularly.

18. Longevity: Studies show people who regularly visit a PCP have longer, healthier lives.

19.  Social services: Your PCP has information about social services and can make referrals to appropriate programs.

20. End-of-life care: A PCP  can be a partner in making end-of-life choices, filling out an advance directive, a living will and designating a health-care agent.

Looking for a primary care physician? Hartford HealthCare Medical Group has locations around Connecticut. Click here to find one near you.