Preventive Care: You pay for it, so why aren’t you using it?

Americans spend hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars each month to have family health insurance, yet most of us aren’t using this big ticket item to our own advantage. Why not embrace our preventive health care benefits and use them to live a longer, more active life, with less chance of disease, chronic conditions and pain.

For people enrolled in job-related health plans or individual health insurance plans created after March 23, 2010, you have access to free preventive services – by free we mean no office visit co-pay, no co-insurance nor deductible to worry about if you go to a doctor or provider in your insurance plan’s network.

According to the Affordable Care Act these eligible health care plans include 22 preventive services available to women, 31 to children, and 22 to all adults. How many of those did YOU take advantage of in the last few years?

A sampling of preventive services specific to women include:

  • Contraception
  • Gestational diabetes screening
  • Preeclampsia prevention and screening
  • Cervical cancer screening
  • Well-woman visits
  • Osteoporosis screening

Some of the preventive services listed under children include:

  • Autism screening for children at 18 and 24 months
  • Behavioral assessments for children under 17 years
  • Blood screening for newborns
  • Depression screening for adolescents beginning routinely at age 12
  • Vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, inactivated Poliovirus, influenza and more
  • Hypothyroidism screening for newborns
  • Lead screening for children at risk of exposure

For all adults, preventive services include items like:

  • Cholesterol screening
  • Colorectal cancer screening
  • Diabetes (Type 2) screening
  • Hepatitis B or C screening
  • Immunization vaccines such as Tetanus, Mumps, Measles, Influenza, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B
  • Lung Cancer screening
  • Depression screening

How many ACA plans did you take advantage of in the last few years?

As you are probably aware, statistics show people are living longer lives, so it’s more important than ever that we use the resources we have at our disposal, mindfully. Think about it, the chance of having a chronic condition or disease increases as we age, so why not use the preventive resources we have at our fingertips today, to prevent those chronic conditions and diseases from happening in the first place – or at the very least, delaying them. Being mindful today means planning your preventive health care ahead of time, like going to the doctor before you feel symptoms of something going on. It also means you need to be eating a healthy, balanced diet, exercising most days of the week and sleeping at least 7 hours per night.

Another aspect of preventive health care is finding and treating disease as soon as possible, because many diseases can be treated more easily when caught early. Visiting your doctor proactively for an annual exam can help catch a disease in a more timely manner. It is also less likely that a disease will become so serious that it negatively affects your health if you are seeing your doctor on a consistent basis.

Consider preventive health care as an investment in your retirement. The sooner you jump on the preventive health care bandwagon, the longer your retirement savings is bound to last. So what are you waiting for – go make that call to your doctor’s office today to schedule your preventive care check-up.

For a complete list of preventive health care services covered under the Affordable Care Act, for plans created after March 23, 2010, go to

If your company needs a medical plan that includes preventive health care services, contact Maureen at

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