Stay On Top of Preventive Health Care

There are many things you can do to stay healthy. Eat nutritious foods. Exercise or recreation can help you move your body. Keep your weight under control. Do not smoke or use drugs. Limit alcohol intake. Get plenty of sleep. Regular preventive healthcare checkups are essential to staying healthy. 
So what exactly is preventive care? And what are its benefits and drawbacks? 

Jeanne Pickerell (registered nurse, Defense Health Agency Preventive Health and Disease Management Division) stated, “Preventive healthcare is the use of recognized proactive screenings and counseling to prevent future disease and treatment.” “It takes into account family health history, lifestyle, and other risk factors.” 

Preventive healthcare appointments are an important part of maintaining good health over the long-term. This includes your mental and emotional well being, as well as your physical health. 

Preventive Health Care 
Preventive health checkups are a great way to prevent problems from developing. They can also detect any conditions you might be at risk. 

Who can you get preventive care from? It all depends on what your health plan is. For more information, visit the Getting Preventive care page. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can help with early diagnosis and treatment of illness and disease. This means that treatment can be started early and when it’s most likely will be effective. Regular preventive checks have been shown to lower the risk of serious illnesses or disabilities, such as carcinoma. This can lead to death. 

Preventive Health Services 
Your gender, age, and family history will determine when you can have health screenings. It will also affect how often you get them. TRICARE provides guidelines for each covered screening to help you plan ahead. And of course, your health care provider who oversees your general health care will tell you when you’re due for your screenings. 

TRICARE covers many types prevention checks and screenings . Many of them can be done in a Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Exam. 

All Adults 
It’s important to be aware of when to start preventive medicine screenings, tests, and exams as we age.

Regular prostate cancer screenings should be done by men. Women should have well woman exams. This includes breast, pelvic and Pap exams. 

To check for osteoporosis, you can have a bone density scan or a coloscopy. These screenings are used to assess the health and function of the colon. For individuals at high risk of colon cancer, a colonoscopy should be performed once every 10 years (CDC). 

These types of non-routine screenings are for patients with signs or symptoms or are at high risk of developing a condition. Some patients may need a referral from their doctor or pre-authorization

Preventive services are crucial for children to be healthy. It is important to get your children in the habit of having regular checkups. This habit can be carried over into adulthood.

  • Wellchild exams (includes developmental and behavioral assessments)
  • Immunizations 
  • Vision screenings 

Costs of Preventive Health Services 
As described in the TRICARE Costs and Fees Fact Sheet, TRICARE makes it easy to get the preventive care you and your family need. If you use a TRICARE network provider, TRICARE covers all clinical preventive service without any out of pocket costs to you. 

If you have TRICARE for Life, you may be eligible for a TRICARE cost share for any preventive services that Medicare or TRICARE don’t cover. For more information visit Medicare’s prevention coverage and screeningspage. 

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Even if you feel good, it’s important that you see a doctor on a regular basis to maintain good health, prevent future problems and detect potential problems before they get worse. Make sure to schedule your preventive exams before the year ends. For more information, visit TRICARE preventive services.

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