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While it’s easy to know to go to the doctor when you’re sick and not feeling well, we often forget to go to the doctor regularly for certain preventative health screenings and annual check ups. These preventative health screenings and visits are extremely important for your health and can help detect diseases or other health conditions early on making it easier to treat. They are also beneficial because regular visits will help your doctor determine whether or not you need to implement any lifestyle change in order to prevent any conditions.
Often times people don’t go to the doctor as regularly as they should because of the cost. Without health insurance, you are paying the full cost for these visits with no discounts or coverage. This is one of the reasons it’s so important to have health insurance so that these annual visits and preventative screenings can be covered and you can obtain their benefits.
Here are some preventative health screenings that you should be up to date on to ensure your health is being well maintained:
For both men and women:
- Blood pressure screenings: After age 20 this should be done every two years or more often if you have family history or warning signs for blood pressure conditions.
- Glucose screenings: After age 45, every three years
- Colorectal cancer screenings: After age 50 you should begin these screenings.
- Digital rectal exam: Annually
- Colonoscopy: Every ten years
- Sigmoidoscopy (examines the rectum and lower colon): Every five years
- Cholesterol screening: After age 20 this should be screened every four to six years
- Well visits: Should be done every year
- Skin cancer: Depending on the discretion of your clinician could be every three years for younger patients or every year for patients about 30 years of age and older.
- Eye exams: Up to about 39 years of age, only necessary if patient has eyesight problems. After 60 eye exams should be performed approximately every one to two years.
- Breast exams: Annual clinical breast exams at well visits.
- Mammograms: At age 45 mammogram screenings should be done annually and once you are 55 and older they can be spread out to every two years.
- PAP tests for cervical cancer: In your 20’s this should be tested every three years and from then on should be tested every three to five years.
- Osteoporosis screenings: Should be done if older than 65 or younger if you have increased risk of osteoporosis.
- Digital rectal exam: Ages 40 to 50 and depending on your health history may have to be done annually.
- Testicular and prostate cancer screenings: Clinical testicular exams are done annually at each well visit
It is important to keep in mind that all of these tests and screenings are covered with most health insurance plans. When you are up to date on these screenings, you are greatly benefiting your health and can help prevent any surprise health conditions and can help detect any health problems you may not know about in the early stages. For many people these screenings and well visits are not possible without a proper and affordable health insurance plan.