January 2021 Maximize your HSA e-Newsletter  Vol. 17, Issue 1

Why Routine Screenings and Preventive Care are More Important Than Ever

The pandemic is no excuse to fall behind on your health

Even before the arrival of COVID-19, there were very few people out there who actually enjoyed going into the doctor’s office for a regular checkup. So when lockdown orders hit, many of us were not exactly pouting about having to skip our few appointments.

 And anyways, many providers have restricted their operations, making it difficult for the people who need to get in. The result is that a large number of Americans are overdue for their checkup, in a time when staying healthy is the most important thing.

What are “Preventive Benefits”?

No matter what kind of health coverage you have, almost all plans come with a variety of valuable preventive care benefits. These come with no cost or copays, even if you haven’t yet met your plan deductible.

Perhaps the most important preventive service that exists is the regular office visit. While some plans still require a small copay for doctor visits, most make it really affordable, and some even make it free of charge.

These regular visits might feel like a hassle, but they’re essential in catching health issues before they become a problem. And believe me when I say this: there is no better way to save money on health costs than to stay healthy.

The preventive benefits included with your ACA health plan:

One of the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the requirement that all ACA plans include coverage for recommended preventive care services. More importantly, these services must be covered without any customer cost sharing.

Here are some of the things that your plan is required to cover: 

Evidence-based screenings and counseling

Including screenings for:

    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Cholesterol

    • Obesity
    • Various Cancers
    • HIV & sexually transmitted infections (STI)

And counseling for:

    • Drug, alcohol, & tobacco use
    • Healthy eating
    • Common health concerns

Routine immunizations

Including immunizations for:

    • Influenza
    • Meningitis
    • Tetanus
    • HPV
    • Hepatitis A & B
    • Measles & mumps 

Preventive care for children and youth

Under the Affordable Care Act, your children are eligible for even more no-cost preventive care services. Aside from the screening and immunizations listed above, children and youth services include behavioral and developmental assessments, mineral supplements, and expanded screening for autism, vision and lipid disorders, and certain genetic diseases.

Preventive services for women

Well-woman visits, FDA-approved contraceptives, expanded screenings, breastfeeding support, and domestic violence screening are additional preventive benefits offered to women under the ACA.

More preventive care services (varies by plan)

Depending on your specific plan, you might have access to some preventive care benefits that go above and beyond what is required by the ACA. Some of the most common ones include:

    •       Gym membership discounts
    •       Health tracking apps
    •       Online fitness classes
    •       Wellness programs with cash rebates
    •       24/7 nurse lines

You can visit your provider’s website for a specific list of what’s available, or ask your advisor. Benefits like these are worth considering when switching to a new plan.

Utilize your local health resources

Across the country, it’s possible to find preventive care resources that are 100% no-charge, and don’t require any form of insurance. This includes local health fairs, where it’s possible to get screenings for blood chemistry, testosterone, hemoglobin A1C, and even some types of cancer.

Recently, many of these local health fairs have also started to offer free online assessments for things like diabetes risk, cardiac risk, stress management, and nutritional management.

CVS Project Health is one of the largest nationwide providers of free biometric screenings. You can also type “free health screenings near me” to get more info on what’s available in your area.

Get on track to live your best life longer

I’ve never met a person who actually enjoys going to the doctor’s office. But just about everyone I know enjoys being healthy, feeling young, and living a more satisfying life. This is without mentioning the significant cost savings of staying healthy, which can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your life.

Have questions about your plan’s preventive benefit options, or looking for something better? Call your Personal Benefits Manager to schedule a free consultation.

Click here to schedule an appointment, or call 800-913-0172 to get started.    

To your health and wealth,

Wiley Long Signature

Wiley P. Long, III
President - HSA for America

Wiley Long Portrait

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Wiley Long HSA for America President

Wiley Long is President of HSA for America. He believes that consumers should have choice and price transparency, so they can make the best healthcare decisions for their needs. Read more about Wiley on his Bio page.
 

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