Having health insurance is a necessity. You choose a plan to help pay for extenuating costs associated with treating illnesses, suffering accidents, or incorporating prescriptions. But there is another benefit of many health insurance plans that often goes under-utilized. Many insurance companies offer free preventative care services to their subscribers. It benefits the insurance providers when individuals take necessary steps to improve and protect their health. It, of course, is a benefit to you to see that you’re healthy, as well. As Open Enrollment is fast approaching, look for plans that offer preventative care provisions, free of charge. And then, make these three appointments today and stay healthy!
Preventative Care for Adults in General
As an adult, there are several preventative care appointments you can make, regardless of your age or condition. Typically, these visits are quick, often painless, and can help you stay ahead and aware of any major health-related diagnosis.
There’s an Immunization for That
Not every health insurance plan has a provision for every vaccination, but many coverage options do include free preventative care in the form of immunizations. As an adult in general good health, there are several vaccinations that many healthcare experts suggest are worth considering. Recommendations do vary, and it’s always best to consult your healthcare professional first. But these immunizations can help protect you from contracting some life-altering diseases, and in many cases, your health insurance will pay for it.
Discuss immunizations with your doctor and look for plans that offer free of charge benefits for:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- Influenza (flu shot)
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
Many adults will readily admit to some poor eating habits. Even the healthiest adults enjoy a piece of cake once in a while. But one of the consequences of unhealthy food choices, among other contributors like genetics, is high cholesterol. Because cholesterol levels can lead to life-threatening consequences, including cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and diabetes, doctors, and insurance companies alike suggest individuals monitor their cholesterol levels. Consider making an appointment today with your healthcare professional to check your cholesterol. Your health insurance plan may consider it a free preventative care visit. And early identification of high cholesterol levels can usually be managed with medications and diet regulation.
Blood Pressure Screening
Every time you visit your doctor’s office, you’ll notice the nurse will check your blood pressure. It may seem routine and basic, but blood pressure monitoring is one of the most important preventative measures you can take. If you haven’t been in to see your healthcare professional in a while, making an appointment today can at least help you gauge your blood pressure health. High blood pressure levels that are left uncheckedcan lead to complications that cause stroke, heart attack, weakened blood vessels, or aneurysms. As an adult, you can schedule a wellness visit with your doctor, if not for anything other than to check your blood pressure and discuss any family history or conditions that may contribute to high blood pressure levels. And it’s often another free preventative care appointment in the eyes of your health insurance provider.
Preventative Care for Women
Women present unique health challenges that differ from men, and experts suggest specific preventative care steps at various stages of a woman’s life. Some health risks predominantly affect women and can only be remedied with early detection. Health insurance providers recognize not only the health and life benefits of such early detections but the cost-savings in offering free preventative care options for these and other services.
Breast cancer is a significant threat for women and is one of the most common types of cancer that affects them. Statistics show that one in every eight women will experience a breast cancer diagnosis in her lifetime. The element to surviving such a diagnosis is early detection and routine mammogram screenings. Discuss your family history with your physician and identify the best mammogram schedule for you. In general, women over the age of 40 usually begin the process. And for those scans considered wellness and preventative care maintenance, some health insurance providers cover these screening costs.
The Importance of the Well-Woman Visit
Women of all ages should schedule a well-woman health visit with their doctors at least once each year. These visits usually include a routine checkup and discussion or monitoring of preventative care steps. It’s during this appointment that women will review any need for vaccinations, pre-screening, or medical tests for early detections. Your family medical history plays a role in carving out your best health plan, as well. These are usually considered free preventative care visits by health insurance providers and are essential for women to live their healthiest lives.
Fertility Health and Contraception
Women who are contemplating pregnancy, contraception, or who are pregnant should be consulting with their healthcare professionals for evaluation and advice. From testing folic acid levels to identifying anemia, those who are pregnant can leverage preventative health checkups throughout the pregnancy to ensure the health of both mother and baby. Women considering pregnancy can also benefit from a wellness visit to discuss healthy best practices conducive to conceiving. And for those women interested in contraception options, only the doctor can make the healthiest options available. Not every visit with the doctor regarding fertility and contraception will be covered entirely by your health insurance provider. But many companies offer free preventative care provisions that may be helpful as you consider all of your options.
Preventative Care for Childrenn
Keeping your child healthy, active, and protected can sometimes be free of charge. Review your health insurance plan and look for considerations in these common child pre-screening and wellness categories.
One preventative care checkup for children is autism screening. Typically, evaluations occur for children between the ages of 18 and 24 months. While your first discussion about suspecting autistic behavior needs to be with your child’s doctor, the next steps include evaluation, diagnosis, and health care accordingly. As a parent, you can’t necessarily prevent autism, but putting off a screening when you suspect something is different for your child can be harder on the child long-term.
Behavioral Assessments & Evaluations
Behavioral assessments are often necessary to help children overcome growth and development obstacles. A disobedient child could just have their parent’s temper. Or, he could be suffering from something more medically related, like a hormonal or chemical imbalance or emotional and mental health challenge. Basic evaluations can help parents discern between a normal toddler, tween, and teen behavior and something that requires medical attention. Some of these evaluations are complimentary as a preventative care service with some health insurance companies.
Child Wellness Visits
Routine wellness visits are essential at various stages of your child’s life. And in addition to your doctor’s recommendations for vaccinations and booster immunizations, your child will benefit from an overall checkup as he or she continues to grow and develop. Older children are often required to have certain screening documentation for school attendance. And athletic children playing sports will usually need a sports physical. Many of these routine and scheduled wellness checks are considered preventative care steps and can be free or reduced costs. If your child hasn’t been to the doctor in over a year, make that appointment today!
Check with your current health insurance plan and schedule any appointments you can before the end of the year that qualify as free preventative care. If it’s free and helps you stay healthy, there’s no reason not to make the call. And when you’re ready to make your 2021 health insurance decisions during Open Enrollment, browse your options through us! W3LL offers free guidance and cost evaluation tools to help you find and enroll in the best Marketplace plan for you.