There are certain diseases that can be avoided or treated if they are detected early. Some of them do not show any symptom until it is too late. This is where preventive healthcare is crucial, because doctors can detect those diseases before they show any symptom and they can successfully treat them. In this article we will cover some important aspects about this topic so you can prevent future health problems.
What is preventive healthcare?
Preventive healthcare consists of a group of services you can take to prevent diseases, usually before they start to show symptoms. The preventive health services that you need, will depend on a variety of factors like your age, your gender, your lifestyle choices, genetic predisposition and previous diseases you had in the past
Most people don’t usually go to the doctor nor do their preventive screenings because they “feel healthy” and they don’t think there is a good reason to do it. However, this a mistake because multiple diseases may not show any symptom until they have already developed and they cannot be successfully treated, like certain types of cancer or some sexually transmitted diseases.
According to the Merck Institute of Aging and Health and Centers for Disease Control, only one in three older adults is getting all recommended health screening measures, and according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, it is estimated that half of the deaths in the U.S in 2000 were due to preventable behaviors and exposures.
Types of preventive health care
Preventive healthcare can be divided in three levels, depending on the objective of the services.Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plans may eliminate extra medical bills. Visit https://www.comparemedicaresupplementplans2019.com to get more information and a risk free quote.
- Primary prevention consists of services and methods that avoid occurrence of disease through the elimination of disease agents or by increasing resistance to disease. This includes immunization through the administration of vaccines or medication, having a healthy diet, exercising, practicing safe sex and/or avoiding smoking and alcohol abuse. Counseling to help you take care of your own health is also included in this level.
- Secondary prevention consists of screenings to detect a disease that is not causing noticeable symptoms yet. This includes screening for hypertension, high blood sugar levels or cancer screenings. In this category we could also include problems that do cause symptoms but can be overlooked during check-ups, like symptoms of depression.
- Tertiary prevention consists in reducing the damage of symptomatic disease through rehabilitation or treatment. This means, that if a person is already affected by a disease, the objective is to maximize his or her remaining capabilities and functions. This can be done through surgical procedures and rehabilitation.
It is important to talk to your doctor and ask him what screenings or vaccines you should take.
Getting preventive health care as a senior is expensive… What can I do?
If you are a senior and you have Medicare, we have good news for you. Thanks to The Affordable Care Act, if you have Original Medicare you can get a yearly Wellness Visit, in which you can get preventive services that are covered by Medicare.
Go to your doctor and ask him which preventive services you have to take and how often you need them. This is important because there could be some exams that Medicare does not cover, or that are covered but not as frequently as you need them.
If during a screening your doctor finds an abnormality and asks for a diagnostic test, you may have to pay for that test because some diagnostics tests are not covered by Medicare.
If you think that a preventive service that you need to take is not covered by Medicare and you think it should be, you can appeal that decision.