What Are Preventive Services?
Preventive services refer to the proactive measures taken to prevent disease from occurring rather than reactively treating a disease. For example, medical tests that screen patients for a particular disease are not being used to treat any disease or illness. They are being used in an effort to help prevent the disease or disorder.
In the case of health and wellness, preventative care involves attempting to prevent an acute or chronic illness or disease from occurring. Often, preventing an illness from ever developing is less expensive than treating the illness after it occurs. It also results in far less suffering for the person.
Preventive Services Coverage
Most health plans must cover preventive services, but coverage and details can vary from one plan to another. It is wise for the policyholder, or future policyholder to verify exactly what preventive services are covered by a particular policy.
What Do Preventive Services Cover?
Preventive services include any examinations, checkups, medical tests, screening tools and even medications that are intended to help prevent a health problem from occurring. Health insurance plans determine how much of the total costs for preventive services will be covered under your health insurance plan. They also specify the providers that people may go to for preventive services.
What Is Not Covered With Preventive Services?
Some of the services that are not covered with preventive services involve treatment for a particular illness or disease. For example, if a patient is found to have a lump in their breast, the next appointment may be for a Mammogram, which is a tool used to detect breast cancer. This follow up procedure would not be considered preventive care, and may incur higher out-of-pocket costs.
Importance of Preventive Services
Because preventive services can help to prevent disease and illness, they are important to a patient's overall health. Doctors and the medical system typically specify which preventive services they recommend for patients as a group and for individual patients depending on their unique needs. Recommendations are often based on criteria such as age, gender, health history, family medical history and symptoms.
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