Preventative care and preventive care mean exactly the same thing—health screenings, check-ups, or patient counseling. No matter how you say it, preventative or preventive care is a vital part of your everyday health. Routine screenings position you to take control of your health status before issues arise.
Imagine driving your car for 5 years or more without regular routine maintenance. Now, imagine the costs you’d incur for repairs and damages over time. Bummer, right? In a similar way, your health requires preventative care for disease prevention.
If you consider yourself to be a healthy person, you may be thinking, "What could possibly go wrong?” Well, plenty.
What is Preventative Care, Really?
The goal of preventative care is to help you safeguard against health problems in the first place and to catch illnesses in the early stages of development for easier treatment.
Preventative care is also the most basic kind of healthcare you should receive on a consistent basis. It’s the foundation of the tower. The fuel in the fire. The salt in the sea. If everyone in the U.S. received the recommended clinical preventative care, more than 100,000 lives could be saved each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What Are Examples of Preventative Care?
If you’ve ever wondered whether your insurance covers preventative care services, the answer is likely yes. Most insurance providers cover preventive services at no charge to you. In other words, no copays, deductibles, or co-insurance required.
So, what counts as preventative care according to insurance companies? Take a look at the following list of preventative care service examples available to everyone.
- Vaccines for all ages
- Blood pressure screenings for all ages
- Type 2 diabetes screenings for adults who have high blood pressure
- Alcohol misuse screenings and counseling for adults and adolescents
- Depression screenings for all ages
- Diet counseling for adults at high risk for chronic disease
- Obesity screenings and counseling for all ages
- HIV screenings and counseling (ages 15 to 65 and other ages at high risk)
- Breast cancer mammogram screenings taken every 1 to 2 years for women over 40
- Contraception for women with reproductive capacity
- Cervical cancer screenings for sexually active women
- Vision screenings for all children
- Autism screenings for children at 18 and 24 months
The health screenings listed above are a small fraction of the preventative care services that may be available to you for free through your insurance provider.
Why Is Preventative Care Free?
Preventative care is good medicine. It also costs insurance companies less for preventative care than disease management or emergency medicine. However, the most significant reason that these services are free is more simple—they’re required to be by law.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most insurance companies are mandated to provide preventative services as part of their major medical coverage. The ACA makes preventative care affordable and allows more people to have access to the care they need.
Why Is Preventative Care Important?
Do you recall the common wellness phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” The whole idea behind wellness and preventative care is to reduce the risk of something bad happening with your health in the future.
Also, preventative care screenings can help you detect illnesses that could go unnoticed in the body for years such as high blood pressure—which over time could lead to stroke and heart disease if untreated.
“Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, are responsible for 7 of every 10 deaths among Americans each year and account for 75 percent of the nation’s health spending,” according to the CDC.
How to Get Started With Preventative Care?
Access to good preventative care is a tremendous relief for many, but you must have health insurance to take advantage of these benefits.
That’s where we come in.
HealthMarkets can help you find a plan that gives you access to preventative care services at a price you can afford. Give us a call. We have thousands of licensed agents to help you sort through plans from more than 200 companies.
HealthMarkets ensures you have the resources you need to make an informed decision about your healthcare at every stage.
Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/prevention/ https://www.healthcare.gov/preventive-care-adults/ https://www.healthcare.gov/preventive-care-women/ https://www.healthcare.gov/preventive-care-children/ https://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/toolstemplates/entertainmented/tips/preventivehealth.html