Personal Health and Preventive Care

Health doesn’t have to mean spending your life savings on new diet trends, hiring a trainer, or signing up for “life-changing” forums and seminars. While that works for some people, it’s not entirely necessary. Unless you’ve already developed a chronic illness, healthy living is fairly effortless.

It also involves a regular visit to the doctor, because even if you feel great, you never know when your genes or environment could cause an unexpected health concern. Though some patients may need a bit of guidance, making positive changes in your health should not cost much extra, especially because the internet is full of free health education. Just make sure to look at reliable sources when you do take prevention into your own hands, and discuss it with your doctor.

It is always recommended to consult a doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet and exercise routine, though not entirely necessary. However, once you find the right fit and implement healthy living into your daily routine, you will find it incredibly helpful.

You’ll see the doctor less for illness-related visits. Your annual exams will show surprisingly positive results. A newly-strengthened immune system will have dissolved traces of worrisome symptoms your body once showed. Depending on the condition, it is entirely possible!

 

Healthy food, an important part of Prevention

Balance = Prevention

Giving your body what it needs to function based on your daily activities was once innate in humans, but too many things get in the way of the mindset that food is fuel. The better we function, the more able to adapt our health is.

By finding balance in physical activity and proper nutrients, a strong immune system will fight off illnesses, diseases, and serious conditions in all areas of the body. When a person stops exercising regularly, they will notice an immediate difference in how the brain and body functions. Lack of energy. Laziness. Irritability. In other words, everything is thrown off kilter.

It is possible to find balance if you customize your own plan for healthy living, whether with the help of a knowledgeable individual who has medical experience, or an actual health care professional. This is why so many health insurers have the wellness incentive programs.

These programs are a great stepping stone if you already frequent the gym or haven’t been in a few years, and want to save money in the process. Though usually offered by employers, some individual plans also have reward systems and discounts.

Being able to take initiative for our health, the overall need for health care will drop significantly. Taking prevention into your own hands starts with focus, an honest level of concern for your health and well-being, as well as your concern for spending less of your money and the doctor.

Health insurance has the same goal. By ultimately spending less of your life in a hospital or doctor’s office, you pay a well-worth-it monthly premium to make sure you return as little as possible.

Now that preventive care doesn’t cost anything extra, there is even more incentive to stay healthy. Therefore, if you take some time to figure out the best way to take care of yourself, it will pay off.

 

Walking

Why Buy Health Insurance If You’re Healthy?

Even when you are positively contributing to your health on a consistent basis, there are certain aspects you are unable to control or monitor. Preventive care is important because cancers begin as a microscopic change in cells, some diseases have no symptoms, and many illnesses are caused simply by genetic or environmental factors. Meaning, even as many organic fruits and veggies and healthy proteins as we consume, there still may be a risk for illness.

For example, take someone who grows up in close proximity to a nuclear power plant, and has a family history of multiple cancers. They should be aware of the need to stay healthy now, get the recommended annual exams for their age, and have certain screenings in later years.

For the health concerns that are out of our personal control, preventive medicine is the answer. Once a year, or as needed due to a person’s risk level, is no big deal when considering a professional analysis of your health is a free service with insurance. Upon the signing of the Affordable Care Act, all health care considered under the preventive category has since been no additional charge.

Yes, while it is argued that preventive care is not really “free” because we pay premiums, at least there is no longer an out-of-pocket charge. Preventive care is much more than flu shots these days, as it has been an accumulating list of services over the years. The ACA has just recently made it a reality to use these services, and require all health plans to cover them.

 

Free Preventive Services

When you get health insurance, the door is opened to a number of medical services for free. This is, however, only if you are eligible to receive the service.

If you feel that you are and a health plan denies you coverage for a certain type of care, always try to explain your side of the argument. Any plan purchased after the creation of the Affordable Care Act will cover the following approved services if you are within a certain risk level.

 

Prevention for Adults

  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: one-time screening for men of specified ages who have ever smoked
  • Alcohol Misuse: screening and counseling
  • Aspirin: use for men and women of certain ages
  • Blood Pressure: screening for all adults
  • Cholesterol: screening for adults of certain ages or at higher risk
  • Colorectal Cancer: screening for adults over 50
  • Depression: screening for adults
  • Type 2 Diabetes: screening for adults with high blood pressure
  • Diet: counseling for adults at higher risk for chronic disease
  • HIV: screening for all adults at higher risk
  • Immunization: vaccines for adults. Doses, recommended ages, and recommended populations vary:
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Herpes Zoster
  • Human Papillomavirus
  • Influenza (Flu Shot)
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella
  • Meningococcal
  • Pneumococcal
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis
  • Varicella
  • Obesity: screening and counseling for all adults
  • Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI): prevention counseling for adults at higher risk
  • Tobacco Use: screening for all adults and cessation interventions for tobacco users
  • Syphilis: screening for all adults at higher risk

 

Prevention for Women

  • Anemia screening on a routine basis for pregnant women
  • Bacteriuria urinary tract or other infection screening for pregnant women
  • BRCA counseling about genetic testing for women at higher risk
  • Breast Cancer Mammography screenings every 1 to 2 years for women over 40
  • Breast Cancer Chemoprevention counseling for women at higher risk
  • Breastfeeding comprehensive support and counseling from trained providers, as well as access to breastfeeding supplies, for pregnant and nursing women*
  • Cervical Cancer screening for sexually active women
  • Chlamydia Infection screening for younger women and other women at higher risk
  • Contraception: Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling, not including abortifacient drugs*
  • Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling for all women*
  • Folic Acid supplements for women who may become pregnant
  • Gestational diabetes screening for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant and those at high risk of developing gestational diabetes*
  • Gonorrhea screening for all women at higher risk
  • Hepatitis B screening for pregnant women at their first prenatal visit
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) screening and counseling for sexually active women*
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA Test: high risk HPV DNA testing every three years for women with normal cytology results who are 30 or older*
  • Osteoporosis screening for women over age 60 depending on risk factors
  • Rh Incompatibility screening for all pregnant women and follow-up testing for women at higher risk
  • Tobacco Use screening and interventions for all women, and expanded counseling for pregnant tobacco users
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) counseling for sexually active women*
  • Syphilis screening for all pregnant women or other women at increased risk
  • Well-woman visits to obtain recommended preventive services*

 

Prevention for Children

  • Alcohol and Drug Use assessments for adolescents
  • Autism screening for children at 18 and 24 months
  • Behavioral assessments for children of all ages
    Ages: 0 to 11 months, 1 to 4 years, 5 to 10 years, 11 to 14 years, 15 to 17 years.
  • Blood Pressure screening for children
    Ages: 0 to 11 months, 1 to 4 years, 5 to 10 years, 11 to 14 years, 15 to 17 years.
  • Cervical Dysplasia screening for sexually active females
  • Congenital Hypothyroidism screening for newborns
  • Depression screening for adolescents
  • Developmental screening for children under age 3, and surveillance throughout childhood
  • Dyslipidemia screening for children at higher risk of lipid disorders
    Ages: 1 to 4 years, 5 to 10 years, 11 to 14 years, 15 to 17 years.
  • Fluoride Chemoprevention supplements for children without fluoride in their water source
  • Gonorrhea preventive medication for the eyes of all newborns
  • Hearing screening for all newborns
  • Height, Weight and Body Mass Index measurements for children
    Ages: 0 to 11 months, 1 to 4 years, 5 to 10 years, 11 to 14 years, 15 to 17 years.
  • Hematocrit or Hemoglobin screening for children
  • Hemoglobinopathies or sickle cell screening for newborns
  • HIV screening for adolescents at higher risk
  • Immunization vaccines for children from birth to age 18 —doses, recommended ages, and recommended populations vary:
    • Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis
    • Haemophilus influenzae type b
    • Hepatitis A
    • Hepatitis B
    • Human Papillomavirus
    • Inactivated Poliovirus
    • Influenza (Flu Shot)
    • Measles, Mumps, Rubella
    • Meningococcal
    • Pneumococcal
    • Rotavirus
    • Varicella
  • Iron supplements for children ages 6 to 12 months at risk for anemia
  • Lead screening for children at risk of exposure
  • Medical History for all children throughout development
    Ages: 0 to 11 months, 1 to 4 years, 5 to 10 years, 11 to 14 years, 15 to 17 years.
  • Obesity screening and counseling
  • Oral Health risk assessment for young children
    Ages: 0 to 11 months, 1 to 4 years, 5 to 10 years.
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU) screening for this genetic disorder in newborns
  • Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) prevention counseling and screening for adolescents at higher risk
  • Tuberculin testing for children at higher risk of tuberculosis
    Ages: 0 to 11 months, 1 to 4 years, 5 to 10 years, 11 to 14 years, 15 to 17 years.
  • Vision screening for all children

 

If you do not already have health insurance, we invite you to get a quote and find out if you qualify and view rates in your area. Preventive care is free!

Also, you will have access to doctors and other providers who can help you achieve a balanced, healthy life if you need assistance getting there. For more information on health insurance or preventive care coverage, call us at 888 803 5917.

For additional resources to inspire good health, visit our Wellness site.

 

Sources:

 

1. Healthcare.gov. “Preventive Services Covered Under the Affordable Care Act”. http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2010/07/preventive-services-list.html.