Preventive Care: The Key to Keeping People Healthy

Preventive healthcare services may help prevent illnesses, disease and other health problems, as well as detect illness at an early stage when treatment could work best. Medical experts agree it is far better to prevent disease than to treat people after they get sick.

In the U.S., approximately six in 10 people live with at least one chronic disease, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer or diabetes. These and other serious medical conditions are the nation’s leading causes of death and disability, as well as the primary driver of healthcare costs. When patients miss routine exams and diagnostic tests, warning signs and symptoms may go unidentified.

Chronic illnesses require long-term management to improve a patient’s quality of life and emotional wellbeing. While many people delayed receiving routine check-ups and preventative medical care during the pandemic, these services are the key to helping people of all ages stay healthy.

What services are considered preventive care?

  • Annual check-up – In addition to a physical exam, your annual check-up can include health screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and other health conditions.
  • Cancer screenings – Most people don’t experience cancer symptoms when diseases are in their earliest and most treatable stages. That’s why screenings, such as mammograms and colonoscopies, are recommended at certain times and intervals throughout your life.
  • Counseling – You can improve your health and wellbeing by learning more on topics such as quitting smoking, losing weight, eating healthier, treating depression and reducing alcohol use.
  • Childhood immunizations – Immunizations for children include hepatitis A and B, chickenpox, measles and MMR (mumps and rubella).
  • Adult immunizations – Immunizations for adults include Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) boosters and immunizations against pneumonia and shingles.
  • Flu shots and other vaccines – Vaccines can help keep you from getting sick and reduce the chance of serious symptoms that could lead to hospitalization. In addition to the flu and COVID-19 vaccines, you can be immunized for hepatitis A and B, herpes zoster, human papillomavirus and other illnesses.

The good news is preventive care services are fully covered by most private health insurance plans under Affordable Care Act requirements and by most state Medicaid programs. This means patients are not responsible for copayments, cost-sharing or deductibles.

Preventive care helps prevent or detect health problems before they become serious, and is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family. If you’re not sure about what preventive care services you should receive, it is important to contact your medical provider.

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Pacific Federal is a Zenith American company and subsidiary of Harbour Benefit Holdings, Inc.