Preventive health care can benefit individuals, communities and businesses. As an individual, not only can preventive health care save you money long-term, it can also allow you to be free of painful symptoms. You will feel more energetic and healthy too, so you can enjoy your daily activities to the fullest.
Despite many preventive health care services being free with insurance coverage, Americans use preventive services at half the recommended rate. Chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer cause seven out of every 10 deaths in the United States every year. This accounts for 75 percent of the country’s health spending. By taking preventive care measures, those chronic diseases are often preventable, which shows how important it is to use preventive health care.
It is also important to take good care of yourself by adopting a healthy lifestyle and getting regular exercise. Incorporating simple things like a couple hours of exercise into your weekly routine can do wonders for your short- and long-term health. The more preventive care you take, the less likely you are to sick. Being ill is not beneficial for you, your workplace or your family and friends.
The Cost Benefits of Preventive Health Care
You would not drive your car without having an annual tune-up, and yet so many people do not apply the same reasoning to their own health. Getting yourself checked by a doctor regularly does not just help you to avoid future health problems, it could also save you a lot of money. Many preventive screenings and services are free of charge, whereas diagnostic services are not. If you wait until you are sick or have symptoms, then you will be paying a hefty medical bill, which could have been avoided if you had seen your doctor regularly. Insurance companies are happy to cover many preventive medical expenses, so you should take advantage of the situation.
The Affordable Care Act has made preventive health care affordable and accessible. Certain private health care plans now cover specific recommended preventive services without charging a deductible, copayment, co-insurance or other sharing costs. Some of those services available for free include counseling, domestic violence screening and support for breastfeeding equipment.
Even if you do have to pay for some preventive health care services, it will still cost you a lot less in the long run. Simply weigh the most-inexpensive cost of regular checkups against getting a serious illness further down the line, which could actually cause you financial ruin. It is no exaggeration that some people lose their life savings to pay for medical care. Most diseases are highly preventable by using preventive health care services, so it really should be a no-brainer that preventive health care is best, both for you and your pocket.
The Collective Benefits of Preventive Health Care
Another benefit of preventive health care is it benefits everyone collectively. By putting less demand on the health care system, through using preventive services, the system will run more efficiently and be more affordable in the long run. However, if people do not take advantage of preventive health care, then the burden on the whole system becomes greater, which could result in poorer health treatment and an increase in medical expenses. By engaging with preventive health care, following the benefits are widely shared:
- Children can grow up in communities that nurture their healthy development.
- Healthy adults are more productive, which is beneficial in and out of the workplace.
- Businesses can benefit because having healthier employees means less long-term health care costs. It increases stability and productivity too, which is why job-based coverage typically covers preventive services.
- Communities with a healthy and productive workforce can be attractive locations for both families and businesses.
The Benefits of Implementing Your Own Preventive Health Care
Preventive health care services allow you to have regular checkups and screenings to prevent any illness or condition arising in the first place or treating it quickly before the problem worsens. There are other preventive steps you can take yourself though. By implementing healthy lifestyle choices, you will also be preventing diseases and other health issues. Not smoking, not drinking excessively and doing regular exercise can help keep you in great condition.
Eating healthy is also very important. Foods like the following can make a huge difference in maintaining good health:
- Soy: Adding soy to your diet significantly lowers cholesterol, which can lower your risk of heart disease.
- Dietary fiber: Fiber that is found in foods like apples, barley, oatmeal and brown rice is known to lower blood cholesterol.
- Superfoods: Foods classified as superfoods are colored deep blue, purple, red, green or orange. The colors are produced by carotenoids and anthocyanins, which contain vital nutrients that protect against heart disease and cancer. Superfoods also improve your sense of balance, your memory and other cognitive skills.
The Benefits of Preventive Health Care Checkups
When it comes to avoiding particular diseases and health conditions, the benefits of preventive health care should be obvious. If you take preventive steps to avoid cancer such as not smoking, not eating processed meat and having regular checkups and screenings, then the benefit could be that you will avoid cancer or if you do get it, then the cancer can be treated at an early stage. There are a variety of screenings available for specific diseases and ailments.
Children, adults and elderly people all have different health issues that are more likely to arise, so some screenings can be more relevant to particular people. Preventive health care services for children are beneficial for your child to develop normally. Services range from autism screenings to oral health risk assessments. Elderly people benefit from preventive care for different reasons. Generally speaking, the older you become, the more health risks and problems you will have, so the more important it is to visit your doctor on a regular basis.
There are many preventive health care services available, so ask your doctor which ones are appropriate for you. Some common preventive services are:
- Blood pressure screening: High blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. You should get your blood pressure regularly checked, starting from 18 years of age.
- HIV screening:Everyone who is sexually active needs to be tested for HIV at some point. The earlier it is discovered, the more easily it can be treated. You will also not want to pass it on to anyone else. Practicing safe sex with a condom is the very best way to prevent contracting HIV, but if you have unsafe sex with many partners or you share needles for drug use, then you should be tested more often.
- Newborn screenings: You should plan fetal screening ahead of time with your doctor before your baby is born. These screenings test for certain diseases and conditions in newborn babies and allow doctors to find problems early on before your baby has any symptoms.
- Influenza vaccine:This vaccine helps to prevent influenza. About 85 percent of influenza deaths are people older than 65 years of age, so if you are an older adult, then you should get this vaccine on an annual basis.
- Colorectal cancer screening:Thisis especially vital for older adults because two out of every three new colorectal cancer cases occur in adults older than 65 years of age. All adults between the 50 and 75 years of age should be screened for colorectal cancer.
By taking the right measures, you can prevent health issues arising. Engaging with preventive health care will be beneficial for you, your loved ones and your community. At the end of the day, it is better to be prepared than wait for the worst to happen. Preventive health care can allow you to live a long and happy life.