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Living Healthy

Get Your Ounce of Prevention

December 07, 2017

You want to stay healthy, and stopping an illness before it starts just makes good sense. Preventive care services allows you to avoid needless discomfort and pain, and it minimizes the risk that your illness becomes even more serious or life-threatening. Of course, it also means you'll save money on your care.

If everyone in the United States received recommended clinical preventive care, more than 100,000 lives could be saved each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Preventive services allow you to take advantage of recommended screenings, examinations, lab tests and advice from your doctor. Even if you "feel great," you could have a problem and not be aware of it.

Many preventive care services detect potential health problems or prevent them. If your doctor discovers a problem, it's always better to do it earlier rather than later, since an early diagnosis has a better chance of being managed or cured.

Types of Preventive Care Services

Not all preventive services are the same. They include all of the following.

  • Routine check-ups:
    • These annual visits are different from an office visit to discuss a problem and are the perfect time to ask questions, get answers and feel confident that you're managing your health wisely. Your doctor is the best person to advise you about taking care of your health.
    • Talk to your doctor about your family history and risk factors for disease, evaluate your lifestyle habits such as eating and exercise, and schedule additional immunizations and boosters.
  • Screenings:
    • Mammograms for breast cancer
    • Colonoscopies for colon cancer
    • Cholesterol
    • Diabetes
    • Blood pressure
    • Osteoporosis for brittle bones
    • Pap test for cervical cancer
  • Vaccinations to prevent:
    • Flu
    • Pneumonia
    • Measles
    • Polio
    • Meningitis

Remember that services vary depending upon age or gender.

What are My Preventive Care Costs?

Your health plan covers a list of preventive services at no cost to you if you receive them from providers within your plan's network. Check your plan to see what's available to you now. Consider the adage, "Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today?" and take advantage of services that can help you live happier and healthier now and in the future.