Health screenings are medical tests that doctors use to check for diseases and specific health conditions before symptoms or signs are present. If a condition is present, a screening test often finds the condition early when it is easier to treat.
Health screenings are critical for several reasons.
– Doctors recommend screenings that are relevant to you; specifically, based on your age, gender, and medical and family medical history. Health screenings that are tailored to your specific situation allow doctors to cut through the noise and give you individualized medical care, if need be.
– In the United States, 86% of the nation’s annual $2.7 trillion in healthcare costs is dedicated to chronic conditions and mental health. Chronic health conditions are an expensive problem. Screenings that are then followed up by the appropriate care will save everybody money.
– Several chronic problems are solved by simple lifestyle changes. Health screenings allow doctors to give you the medical care you require but will also uncover lifestyle changes you can make to improve your quality of life.
What conditions can you get health screenings for?
Depending on your age, sex and medical history, you can get screened for:
- Certain types of cancer
- High cholesterol
- Hearing loss
- Vision loss
- Mental health conditions like depression
- Sexually transmitted diseases including HIV
- Hepatitis A and B
- Tobacco abuse
It is important that you take charge of your own health and take action! Health screenings are such an easy way to prevent you from suffering physically and financially in the future.
Here are some tips for taking action.
- Talk to your family members- parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles- about health conditions they have had. Several chronic conditions have strong genetic components. Have a clear understanding of your family’s health history will be helpful at your screening if you did not already get it for your health risk assessment.
- Schedule the appointment with your primary physician. If you don’t schedule it, you might never get to it. Because some screens require special equipment, it is likely that you will have to make multiple appointments.
- Create a list of questions you can ask/discuss with your doctor while on your visit. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has a question builder you can use in case you don’t know which questions to ask. Check out the question builder here.
- Ask your doctor/healthcare provider about risks and benefits of each screening. Never feel like you are asking “stupid” questions. It is always better to be well-informed.
Are the costs of health screening tests covered?
According to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, many screening tests are mandated to be covered by health insurance companies at no or very little cost to you. Screenings will be covered by your health insurance company under the ACA if the doctor who delivers the screening is within your insurance network.
To get the full list of free health screenings you can get, go here.
It is possible for you to take charge of your health before diseases become a problem. Health screenings are an excellent step in doing this. In this post, our goal was to show you how much you can benefit from taking this crucial step in mastering your health.
If you enjoyed this post, consider sharing it with someone else who needs the push to get screened and in most cases, for free.