Solutions to Make Better Decisions with Your Money

8 Free Preventive Services Under Obamacare

8 Preventive Services Free Under Obamacare - TaxACT

As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

And now, thanks to the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), taking measures to ward off illness and disease has never been easier.

All marketplace plans are required to cover a specific range of preventive services without co-pays or coinsurance, regardless of whether or not your yearly deductible has been met.

As long as you’re seeing a network provider, ask them which of the following you should take advantage of to ensure your best possible health — and your peace of mind.

1. Immunization Vaccines for Adults

Vaccinations aren’t just for kids! Adults of all ages need to protect themselves from infectious — and often deadly — diseases.

Besides an annual flu shot, common immunizations include hepatitis A and B, HPV (human papillomavirus), MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus), and chicken pox.

Recommended vaccinations depend on your age, personal health, and lifestyle.

2. Blood Pressure Screening

This is an important test to get because high blood pressure usually has no signs or symptoms. It can only be detected by being measured, and catching it early and controlling it can lower your risk of stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure.

3. Depression Screening

Depression is a common but serious condition that affects millions of adults every year, and can greatly affect your health.

The good news is, it can be treated, so if you think you might be depressed, talk to your doctor. A screening can help you understand this illness and what steps you can take to overcome it, and feel better.

4. HIV Screening for Adults Ages 15 – 65

If you’re sexually active, it’s essential to have yourself tested, for your own safety as well as your partner’s. How often you should get tested depends on your risk for HIV infection.

The ACA also offers free prevention counseling and screening for other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

5. Obesity Screening and Counseling

Last June, the American Medical Association recognized obesity as a disease requiring intervention for treatment and prevention.

Obesity, which is determined by measuring BMI (body mass index), can lead to conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis.

Free diet counseling is also available for adults at higher risk of chronic disease. Consulting a physician or other health care practitioner about this issue is the first step in safely reaching a healthier weight.

6. Type 2 Diabetes Screening

One of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States, diabetes, if left untreated, can result in serious health issues such as blindness, kidney disease, and nerve damage.

Your doctor can use one of several tests that measure your blood sugar level to screen for the disease and, if necessary, provide an effective plan to prevent diabetes, or inform you of how to manage the disease if you are diagnosed.

7. Colorectal Cancer Screening for Adults Over 50

No one likes the thought of prepping for this test, but the fact is, colon cancer is 90 percent curable if caught early. Due to the amount of bacteria and immune cells in the large intestine, this organ is especially susceptible to cancer — and risk increases with age.

Although colonoscopy is the gold standard of colorectal screens, there are other types of tests, so ask your healthcare provider which one is right for you. If colon cancer runs in your family, your doctor may recommend that you get tested at an earlier age.

8. Tobacco Screening

Smoking continues to be the number-one preventable cause of death and disease in the United States, and starting this year the ACA requires most plans to cover intervention and cessation programs for all adults.

Not only does smoking cause lung and other types of cancer but it also contributes to heart disease, stroke, and even cataracts, so it’s not hard to see why quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health.

To find out more, go to GetInsured.com or call 855-224-9212 to get help finding the best plan for you.

Photo credit: Amaury Henderick via photopin cc