Preventive care: the secret to staying healthy

Many of us only think of visiting our doctors when we feel ill – but prioritizing preventive care is actually one of those most critical things you can do for your lifelong health. Think of it like the routine maintenance your car needs to run smoothly and have a long lifespan. But instead of oil changes and tire rotations, your routine maintenance should include yearly check-ups, screenings for chronic diseases and updated immunizations.

Why is preventive care so important? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if everyone in the United States received the recommended clinical preventative care, more than 100,000 lives could be saved each year. 

Early screenings for diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease make treatments more successful and help lower the cost of long-term care. Preventive care also promotes healthy lifestyles through counseling on smoking, weight loss, healthy eating and reducing alcohol intake.

The following lists include some of the critical preventive care services available.

For everyone:

  • Immunizations
  • Depression screenings 
  • Obesity screenings and counseling 

For adults:

  • Blood pressure screenings 
  • Type 2 diabetes screenings 
  • Alcohol misuse screenings and counseling 
  • Diet counseling
  • HIV screenings and counseling

For women:

  • Breast cancer screenings
  • Contraception counseling
  • Cervical cancer screenings 
  • Check-ups for pregnant women
  • Counseling for nursing moms
  • Osteoporosis screening 

For children:

  • Well-baby and well-child exams
  • Vision and hearing screenings
  • Autism screenings at 18 and 24 months
  • Behavioral assessments
  • Developmental screenings

Most medical insurance providers cover 100% of preventive care, so budget does not need to be a barrier to routine health screenings for you and your family. 

For more information on the preventative care benefits, check with your insurance company or visit healthcare.gov.