Preventive care is the care you receive to prevent illnesses or diseases. It also includes counseling to prevent health problems. Providing these services at no cost is based on the idea that getting preventive care, such as screenings and immunizations, can help you and your family stay healthy.

In addition to preventative care, it’s also wise to choose the right coverage, so that it’s there in case of accident or emergency.

For example, depending on your age, you may have access to preventive services such as: blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol tests. Many cancer screenings, including mammograms and colonoscopies. It can also include counseling, screening, and vaccines to ensure healthy pregnancies.

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What are the benefits of Preventive Health Care?

Prevention of chronic diseases involves self-care like eating a healthy diet, having a consistent exercise routine, and giving up unhealthy behaviors (eg drinking, smoking). And seeing your doctor once a year for a physical and mental health screen throughout every stage of your life is vital.

Benefits of preventive care include:

  • Enjoying good health and a high quality of life
  • Maintain good health with regular check ups and positive life style changes
  • Prevents large medical bills or bankruptcy
  • Chronic diseases are easier to treat
  • Important Screening Tests

    Getting age-appropriate screening tests for chronic diseases is the best way to detect or prevent them.

    Vaccination-preventable infections

    These chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. Thus, the importance of preventive health care begins at conception and continues throughout a person’s life.

    Heart Disease

    Tests to help diagnose heart health:

    Blood pressure

    Blood levels of lipoproteins (cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, and HDL)
    You should have your blood pressure tested at every physical. You may not exhibit symptoms of high blood pressure so it is imperative to routinely get it checked by your doctor. A lipid profile blood test should done at least every 4-6 years and more often if it’s abnormal.


    The type of screening test depends on the type of cancer your doctor wants to rule out. It is important to catch these cancers early when there is a better chance of curing it. They include:

    • Colon cancer- Colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a procedure that checks for cancer in your colon and rectum. For people who are at low risk should have one done at age 50 and every 10 years after if the initial one is negative. It also detects polyps, which are precursors to cancer.
    • Cervical cancer- Pap SmearCervical cancer is the only type of cancer that is preventable by a vaccine. The major cause of this cancer is human papillomavirus (HPV). Both boys and girls can get the Gardasil 9 vaccine around 11-12 years old to prevent HPV infection. Cervical cancer is the most treatable form of cancer if it’s caught early. You should have a Pap smear every three years until age 65. Or you can have both an HPV test and Pap smear and every five years after age 30.
    • Prostate cancer- Digital Exam and PSA Prostate cancer screening tests are : the digital exam and a blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA). You’ve probably heard the “turn your head and cough” instructions during a digital exam. The doctor can feel an enlarged prostate or if there are lumps. The PSA tests for an enzyme that is high with prostate cancer.
    • Breast cancer- Mammography A screening mammogram is the best way to find breast cancer even if you don’t feel any lumps during a breast exam. Doctors suggest getting an initial mammogram around age 45. If it’s normal, then yearly exams should begin at age 50.
    • Diabetes

      There are over 7.2 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes, but haven’t been diagnosed. Diabetes can lead to other chronic health conditions such as heart and kidney disease. The best preventative technique is to early detection, followed by monitoring and control of blood sugar levels. This will reduce future problems.

      You should have screening tests for Type 2 diabetes every year after age 45. Everyone should have a screening test every year after age 45.

      Mental Illness

      Sufferers of mental illness desperately need professional help but feel prohibited due to societal stigma concerning psychological help. They suffer needlessly and their silent cries for help go unnoticed until a tragedy happens. Psychological screening can help prevent or reduce homelessness, imprisonment and suicide.

      It is imperative that parents have an awareness of mental illness and its symptoms starting when their child is young because it can identify if their child needs psychological help to grow and thrive. Unfortunately, as we have seen in the news, teens that committed horrific crimes did not get the help they needed earlier in their childhood.

      Children can receive regular mental health screening under the EPSDT (Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment) law, if they are eligible for Medicaid.


      Getting our kids vaccinated is important to prevent serious illnesses. Most Americans have not witnessed the deleterious impacts of diseases that could have been prevented with vaccinations such as Mumps and Measles in kids.

      There is a great deal of controversy over vaccinating children in the media based on false data. Many research studies have shown that vaccines are safe and don’t cause autism.

      Herd immunity involves vaccinating large populations against a specific disease. It was important to the success of the smallpox vaccine. The smallpox vaccine eradicated it from the world in 1980.

      Physicians recommend specific vaccinations from birth into the teen years and they can give you a vaccination schedule and protocol for your child.

      In summary, the benefits of preventive health care are important in curtailing chronic diseases. There are some lifestyle changes you can make on your own to maintain good health and well-being.

      Incorporating healthy habits such as moderate alcohol use, not smoking, a well-balanced diet, and exercising at least three days a week will certainly help you stay healthy and energetic. But it is still important and vital for everyone to see his/her doctor annually for possible early detection of illnesses and to help maintain good health.

      Preventive medicine’s goal is for you to enjoy a healthful and happy life, which leads to a better overall quality of life!

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