Preventive vs. Preventative Care: This Benefit May Surprise You
Preventive vs. preventative care…have you tapped into this healthcare benefit?
And is there a difference between preventive vs. preventative care?
First, a grammar lesson.
- These two terms are synonyms: preventive vs. preventative
- They mean the same thing.
- They’re used interchangeably in healthcare.
And most health insurance plans include preventive or preventative health benefits.1
Like what? Common preventive and preventative care benefits include things like:
● Health screenings
● Patient counseling
Preventive Care & the Car-Maintenance Connection
So what’s preventative care, and why is it important?
It’s a lot like taking care of your car, or NOT taking care of your car.
Imagine driving your car for five years or more without regular routine maintenance.
- No oil changes
- No fluid replacements
- No battery check-up
- No tire-tread inspection
- And totally ignoring that “check engine” light
It’s a recipe for trouble like a flat tire, mechanical malfunction, or total engine failure. The costs for damages and repairs could be pretty high, too.
Yet, these problems are largely preventable with routine maintenance.
Preventive care can help protect your health, too.
Regular check-ups, health screenings, and immunizations can help:2
- Promote health
- Prevent disease
- Improve quality of life
- Save money on healthcare costs
If you consider yourself to be a healthy person, you may not consider any unexpected medical events.
ACA & Preventative Care
The Affordable Care Act requires most private health plans to cover certain recommended preventative services at no cost to you.3
If you’ve ever wondered whether your insurance covers preventative care services, the answer could be, “yes,” thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
- For qualified preventive services under the Affordable Care Act, that means no copays, deductibles, or co-insurance required.
- More than 150 million people with private health insurance have access to no-cost preventive services.3
- Research shows increasing access to preventative care can help prevent disease, identify and treat chronic health conditions, prevent certain types of cancer, and improve overall health and longevity.
- The American Medical Association suggests that increasing the use of just five preventive healthcare services could save an estimated 100,000 lives per year.4
4 types of preventive services
There’s four main categories of preventive services private health plans cover at no cost to you. These include:3
- Evidence-based preventive services
- Routine vaccines
- Evidence-informed preventive services for infants and youth
- Preventive care & screenings for women
So, what counts as preventative care according to insurance companies?
Take a look at the following list of preventative care examples available to everyone with an ACA-compliant health insurance plan.5
- 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 every two years for women 50 and over and as recommended for women 40 to 49 with a higher risk for breast cancer
- Contraception for women with reproductive capacity
- Pap test or pap smear for women age 21 to 65
- 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 at no cost to you through your insurance provider.
Preventive vs. Preventative care: Why is it 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.
Here’s the big reason preventive vs. preventative care is important:6
- Chronic diseases represent 7 of the top 10 causes of death in the United States.
- 6 in 10 Americans live with at least 1 chronic condition, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, or diabetes
- Chronic diseases are the leading causes of disability in the U.S.
- Treating chronic diseases costs an estimated $3.8 trillion per year in the U.S.
Yet, some chronic diseases can be preventable, starting with preventive care and screenings. Lifestyle medicine and interventions, and healthy habits can make a big difference, too.
Ready to get started with preventative care?
If you want access to no-cost preventive care, you need a health insurance plan that works for you. And we can help. Find a licensed insurance agent in your area or call (800) 827-9990 to get started.