Preventive Care Services: Take Charge of Your Well-being
My Coverage Explained
Hey, guys, not to state the obvious but preventive screenings are really important for your health! Screenings can help find diseases early, when they are easier to treat and possibly cure.
All of our new health insurance plans cover a number of preventive screenings.* So, when you go to your in-network doctor for your annual health exam or for a screening test you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket!
The type of screening tests you need depend on your age and other risk factors. Check out these guidelines below to learn about important screening tests for men that are covered under our plans.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. (of cancers affecting both men and women). A scary statistic for sure! But the good news is that 60% of these deaths can be prevented by going in for a screening! Screening tests can find precancerous growths that can be removed before turning into cancer and they can also spot cancer earlier, when treatment works best. If you are over the age of 50, get screened now. If colon cancer runs in your family you should talk to you doctor about getting screened before the big 5-0.
Getting your blood pressure tested is easy and painless! There’s really no excuse not to do it. You should get tested at least every two years starting at age 18. High blood pressure or hypertension has no signs or symptoms, so the only way to know if you have it is to get tested. If your blood pressure is between 120/80 and 139/89 you should get tested once a year. Anything higher than that and you will want to talk to your doctor about treatment options.
A simple blood test is all that is needed for a cholesterol screening! Like with high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels usually don’t have any symptoms so it’s important to get your cholesterol levels checked. Having high cholesterol increases your risk for developing heart disease or having a heart attack. And nobody wants to have those! If you are over the age of 35, you should get a cholesterol test regularly. But, if you have an increased risk for heart disease you should start getting your cholesterol checked at age 20.
If you have high blood pressure, it may be a good idea to get tested for type 2 diabetes. If it’s not managed properly, diabetes can lead to a number of health problems. In fact, people who don’t know they have type 2 diabetes have a much higher risk for stroke and heart disease. Don’t let it get to that point! Get tested.
About 50,000 people in the U.S. get infected with HIV each year, but many do not know they have it. The only way to know if you have HIV is to get an HIV test. You may not want to get tested because you are afraid of the results. That’s completely understandable! But, knowing about your HIV status is better than not. If you find out you have HIV you can get treatment that will help you live a longer, healthier life and you can learn how to prevent infecting others.
Everyone (yes, everyone) between the ages of 13 and 65 should get tested at least once. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should get tested more often (once a year) if you:
Don’t forget about your mental health! It’s as important as your physical health! If you are feeling sad and hopeless for more than two weeks you may want to talk to your doctor about getting screened for depression. Depression often gets worse if left untreated.
Have you ever smoked? Are you between the ages of 65 and 75? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then you should talk to your doctor about being screened for an abdominal aortic aneurysm (swelling of the main artery in your abdomen that carries blood from your heart). Aneurysms usually don’t have any symptoms, and when they grow to be too large they can break open which leads to dangerous internal bleeding. If an abdominal aortic aneurysm is found early, it can be treated before it gets to this level.
This is not an exhaustive list of preventive tests that will be covered by your health care plan. Talk with your doctor openly and honestly if you have any other health concerns, and ask him or her which tests are right for you.
How will you take charge of your health today?
*You may have to pay all or part of the cost for preventive services if your insurance plan is grandfathered, meaning the plan existed on or before March 23, 2010.
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