Preventive health care, or prophylaxis, involves measures to prevent disease before it happens. It focuses on factors that affect a person’s health, such as genetic predisposition, environment, disease agents, and lifestyle choices. In many cases, disease can develop before the individual even realizes it is affecting them.
The goal of preventive health care is to reduce disease and the cost of medical care. Healthcare reforms have made preventive care more available, but people still have limited knowledge about it and don’t regularly take advantage of it. Getting a physical is one of the best ways to learn more about your body and its health risks, and it helps you make an informed decision about your health care needs.
Preventive health care can help you live longer and avoid expensive medical bills. It can also help you avoid cancer and diabetes. It’s essential to schedule annual physicals to assess your overall health, and prevent problems before they develop. You can even sign up for online health insurance reminders to make sure you schedule these appointments.
Preventive care involves screenings and immunizations to protect against diseases that can lead to death. Cancer screenings are recommended at specific ages throughout your life, including for colorectal cancer. For women, screenings include Pap tests and mammograms. For men, PSA tests are recommended to check for prostate cancer. Immunizations are also recommended for prevention of certain illnesses, such as hepatitis A and B. Additionally, preventive care may include health education and immunizations for pregnant women.
The Affordable Care Act has included many new provisions for prevention that can benefit millions of Americans. These new regulations will cover the costs of a variety of preventative health services and will cover them without co-pay. Some preventive health services will become mandatory for all healthcare insurance plans in the United States. Vaccines will remain free in most cases.
Many people already pay their monthly premiums to have health insurance, so it’s a good idea to take advantage of the screenings and exams that are included as part of the plan. You can also check your benefits summary for a list of recommended preventive health care services. However, remember that many of these services require that you use a network of providers.
Another effective way to prevent disease and improve health is by quitting smoking. Tobacco use is a major cause of disease and significantly reduces a smoker’s overall health. Many health plans cover cessation programs, which can include pharmacotherapy and counseling for smokers. Additionally, Medicaid programs provide coverage for services related to tobacco cessation for pregnant women.
The Affordable Care Act also includes preventive health provisions, including the National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy and the Prevention and Public Health Fund. These new prevention policies require private health plans to cover evidence-based preventive services. They also ban cost-sharing for preventive health care, making it more affordable for seniors and American citizens enrolled in Medicaid.