Your healthcare plan is essentially insurance to be used when there is a time of need — usually when you fall ill or are injured. However, there is no reason for you to only make use of your health insurance when you are ill! Many health insurance plans cover preventative care services, and making good use of these is a wonderful way to stay healthy and in tip-top condition!
Using your health insurance to maintain your health will, of course, begin with you determining whether preventative care services are covered by your plan and more specifically, which services are covered. Understand your coverage and how it works whether you need to stick to the network and whether any costs are involved.
An example of a preventative service that is available on most plans yet infrequently used is the free flu vaccination for all dependants. A simple vaccine can do a world of good, keeping you from missing out on a fun event or important work or passing on the virus to your loved ones if you are in and out of the home and constantly exposed to others. It isn’t only flu vaccination that is covered as some plans cover other important vaccines. Vaccinations save the lives of 42 thousand children each year. Flu shots and tetanus shots are the ones that adults need to keep up to date with for optimal health.
A good tip to follow is to find a good doctor that you can trust and that you are comfortable with, and this is best done before you actually fall ill. Finding a doctor only when you’re already sick means you are placing additional stress on yourself. When you are healthy, take a look at your plan and become familiar with the fee structure and choose the most economic option — like a doctor for the network for example. Book a consultation and have a general check-up to interact with the doctor and to have a patient file opened. Establishing a relationship with your doctor is one step to better health care when you need it.
There are several different preventative care services that are offered by a number of plans, like wellness visits, cholesterol test, and high blood pressure tests, colon cancer screenings and diabetes screenings, pap smears, and breast examinations. It is a good idea to take advantage of any number of these tests each year or whenever available to you on your health insurance to simply to detect any abnormalities sooner than later, should there be any. For example, monitoring your blood pressure is a scientifically proven method of reducing your risk of heart disease. Also, the mortality rate of breast cancer between 1975 and 1989 increased each year by 0.4%, but in 2015, increased use of mammograms as a preventative measure reduced this figure by 39% — that is staggering!
Check whether you are able to visit your dentist for preventative dental care like cleaning of plaque or other preventative dental procedures. Regular visits to your dentist not only establish a comfortable relationship but also helps you develop better dental habits. Moreover, this means you can ward off dental problems that you may otherwise be susceptible to if you don’t have the advice and guidance of a professional to help you.
Overall Mindfulness of your Health
Developing the habit of engaging in preventative care services also fosters a sense of self-care, and you may find that you will be more aware of your health the more you become involved in it. This means you may choose a more active lifestyle and better dietary choices. Plus, your attitude towards your health will influence the way your children see their own health and will help them grow up to be informed and aware adults.
So, go and get out those health insurance papers and read them carefully. Get to know what you are covered for, when, and how many screenings, shots, or visits you are entitled to without charges or fees. Don’t forget to check whether the cover is different or not, and phone up any institutions that you need to contact to obtain more information. It is better to be healthy and stay healthy – don’t wait until you’re sick to do it!