Save On Healthcare With Preventative Care

Save on Healthcare: Take Advantage of Preventative Care

Updated on Apr 09 2019

April marks Dental Health Month, Parkinson Awareness Month, as well as National Physiotherapy Month, and April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day. What do all of these awareness campaigns have in common? They all strive to educate the general public about the importance of preventative care.

Learn more about the benefits of preventative care for physical and financial health and how being proactive with your health can help put money back in your pockets.

Preventative Care for Financial Health

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that Americans only take advantage of preventative services at half the recommended rate. A lack of preventative care combined with rising health care costs can be financially devastating in retirement. In fact, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that in 2016 alone, there were 1 million adults who declared medical bankruptcy, more than those who declared bankruptcy for unpaid credit cards or defaulting on a mortgage. Of those 1 million medical bankruptcies, 78 percent of them had health insurance that did not cover their bills, which accounts for many Americans who are in tough financial shape when it comes time to retire.

According to the Fidelity Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate, the average retired couple (65 years old) should plan on having $285,000 saved to cover health care expenses in retirement. That amount excludes long-term care, which an estimated 70 percent of adults over the age of 65 will need. The average cost of long-term care in the United States is $6,844 per month for a semi-private room in a nursing home.

With costs and statistics as staggering as these, how can we age well and protect our financial and physical health? The answer lies in preventative care. Chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer and diabetes account for 75 percent of the nation’s health spending. Largely preventable, these conditions are responsible for seven out of ten deaths. Making positive lifestyle choices and taking advantage of preventative care services can greatly improve health by identifying the risk of chronic conditions early, maximizing treatment options, and reducing the cost of health care expenses in retirement.

Preventative Care for Physical Health

The goal of preventative care is to help people stay healthy, identifying any disease or threat of disease in its early stages. Not only is preventative care is critical to financial health, it is crucial to aging well. Examples of preventative care include the following:

  • Wellness Checks: A wellness check serves as an annual exam and often includes checking height, weight, heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital statistics. It can often include a blood draw to test cholesterol and glucose levels.

  • Vaccinations: Ask your medical provider about any immunizations you need as an adult. Vaccines that protect against the flu, tetanus, and whooping cough are often recommended for seniors.

  • Colorectal Cancer Screening: Recommended for men and women 50 and older, colorectal cancer screening is usually done through a colonoscopy but potential alternatives may be available.

  • Best Cancer Screening: Mammograms are recommended for women 40 years old and older. Mammograms are x-rays of the breasts and most forms of breast cancer are treatable if detected early.

  • Obesity Counseling: Maintaining a healthy weight through retirement is essential to aging well and can protect against a myriad of health issues. Medical professionals can provide a nutritional and exercise plan to help you maintain a healthy body mass index and identify any health risks associated with weight.

  • Type Two Diabetes Screening: This form of diabetes is preventable and can be avoided with a healthy diet and regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight. Diabetes can cause many other health issues and has even been linked to an increased risk of dementia.

Receiving preventative care and making healthy decisions can avoid or delay these diseases, helping seniors live healthy lives and reduce health care costs. If you are unsure about which preventative care services are covered under your insurance plan, contact your provider and ask questions about your plan. Most preventative care services are fully covered by health insurance plans when received from providers that are in network. As a trusted partner in your financial future, a fiduciary financial advisor can help create a solid financial strategy to cover healthcare expenses through retirement and identify the best insurance plan for your individual needs.

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