Each month, you pay a health insurance premium to protect you and your family from the unexpected. But are you taking full advantage of the services that are covered by your insurance? In effect, these are services you’ve already paid for through your premiums.
Here’s how to make the most of your insurance coverage.
Many people aren’t aware that health plans must include a set of preventive services—such as screenings, tests and immunizations.
Scheduling a preventive physical is a great way to start maximizing your insurance. Physical exams are a vital part of preventive medicine and can help your provider find problems before they even start.
All medical plans, including those purchased through a federal health insurance marketplace or your employer offered insurance, cover preventive services such as physical exams without charging you a co-payment or coinsurance—even if you haven’t met your yearly deductible.
“Cost is the biggest reason why people don’t schedule a physical exam and see their doctor annually,” says Joel Wegener, MD, at Fairview Clinics – Hiawatha. “Many health issues can be discovered at physical exams. And if we can start treatment before it becomes a serious issue, it can save you a lot of money.”
Keep in mind: the services are free only when delivered by a doctor or provider in your plan’s network, and there may be a cost for additional tests or conditions treated outside the scope of a typical physical exam.
Through a physical exam and routine health screenings, your doctor can evaluate your current health status and detect early warning signs of potential problems.
“It’s really important to see your doctor or care provider every year,” says Dr. Wegener. “Why not start a new tradition of beginning the new year with an annual exam? Being in control of your health is a great place to start.”
During your physical exam, you can expect a variety of tests and screenings such as blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and mental health well-being, just to name a few—all covered at no cost to you.
Other tests are specific to gender and age groups. For example, for older adults, tests may include mammography, osteoporosis screening and colorectal cancer screening.
“Waiting to see a doctor until there is a problem is going to have an effect on your pocketbook,” says Dr. Wegener. “Checking in with your doctor on an annual basis allows us to review any changes that have occurred over the last year.”
Immunizations, which are also typically covered by insurance, aren’t just for kids—they are an important part of preventive medicine. Your doctor will discuss what is needed for your age, including influenza, hepatitis A and B, shingles and tetanus vaccinations.
The easiest way to ensure a long and healthy life is taking measures to prevent illness. Schedule your annual physical exam today by calling 855-324-7843.