Financial Benefits of Preventive Health Care

There are many benefits for preventive health care, with some of the most noticeable and important being the health and wellness benefits.

However, there are also huge financial benefits associated with preventing disease as well. There are both long- and short-term benefits for getting screened, tested, and using medications such as immunizations to prevent diseases. All of these preventive health care measures can save you a lot of money and allow for much less financial strain.

Money for Treatment

Medical bills can get extremely expensive, especially when you or a family member is suffering from a chronic disease such as cancer. Different types of preventive care can almost eliminate many potential medical bills for a number of different reasons. For one, the prevention of disease will eliminate the need to pay for medical bills for the treatment of that disease in the case that you are able to avoid developing that illness.

For example, if you are able to monitor your blood sugar levels closely and make lifestyle changes to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy zone, you may be able to prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes. Being diagnosed with diabetes requires expensive medications and/or insulin in addition to needing to purchase specific supplies to monitor your blood sugar levels at home. In addition, people with diabetes require more frequent trips to the doctor, and often have a higher frequency of developing other medical problems. All of the medications, supplies and extra doctor or hospital visits certainly increase medical expenses, so if diabetes can be detected using regular screenings and tests and prevented through proactive lifestyle changes, you can save a lot of money.

Early Detection and Lower Costs

The other way that preventive health care can save you money is that even if a disease is detected while completing preventive care screenings, it is often detected early enough that treatment is generally faster and more effective. This will end up saving you a lot of money that would have paid for extended treatment options.

Many different types of cancer are completely treatable if the cancer is detected in the early stages of development. For example, if it is discovered through a routine colonoscopy that you have pre-cancerous polyps in your colon, it is likely that the polyps can be removed or dealt with appropriately in order to prevent colon cancer from fully developing. The costs associated with the polyp removal or treatment are very small in comparison to the costs associated with chemotherapy or other forms of treatment for having colon cancer.

Missing Work

Another financial benefit to utilizing preventive care is that you will likely not need to miss many days of work. If you became ill, you would need to take days, weeks or even months off work, which can lead to much smaller paychecks and a more difficult time paying the bills. Preventing the onset of many different diseases can keep you healthy enough to consistently go to work to earn a living for your family.

Insurance

The Affordable Care Act has mandated that most types of preventive health care services are to be 100 percent covered by most health insurance agencies. Additionally, even cost-sharing charges such as a copayment, coinsurance or deductible are not required for many different types preventive care, as long as you go to a provider in your network. This is very important to know because it is said that even families with insurance may avoid going to their physician for routine check-ups because they feel they cannot afford the copayment. Therefore, now that most preventive care measures are available with minimal or no out-of-pocket expenses required, access to a doctor is easier than ever.

Even if a specific preventive screening has a required copayment, which few screenings do required, the amount of money that the copay costs is likely miniscule in comparison to the amount of money you would be required to pay for the treatment of a disease such as heart disease or cancer.

Diagnostic Medical Care is More Expensive

While preventive medical care screenings and tests are covered by insurance and generally do not have any cost-sharing charges required, diagnostic medical care screenings and tests are not covered by insurance in the same way. Diagnostic medical care is what the tests are considered when they are performed to check on an existing problem or concern instead of having tests done as part of a routine exam. For example, if you started having symptoms that concerned you and went in to have a test done because of those symptoms, the test would now be considered diagnostic, and you may have to pay a copay and a portion of the bill even if you have insurance coverage.

It is crucial to keep this in mind when considering whether or not to go to your physician to have your routine check-ups done. If you wait too long, you may end up falling ill and needing to pay quite a bit more in medical bills because of the diagnostic medical care tests and potential medical treatment costs.

Workplace Benefits of Preventive Care

In addition to all of the money that you personally save by utilizing preventive health care, it is good to note that many other people and organizations save money as well. For example, if you are employed at a company that provides you an insurance plan, that company is paying money to provide your insurance to you. However, the cost of the insurance plan is generally far less than the costs associated with employee poor health. Employee poor health includes lower productivity, higher rates of injury, higher rates of disability, and an increase in workers’ compensation claims. Also, workers with high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health issues generally miss a couple more days of work than healthier workers. All of these can lead to a very large amount of money lost from the company, so this is one of the reasons why insurance plans are offered by many companies. Preventive health care measures are highly recommended in order to prevent the poor health of employees.

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