The importance of preventive care

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star-sponsored-nativeThe following is sponsored by Be Well Utah.

Preventive care and the early detection of disease it enables contribute so much to your long-term health and well-being. Beyond that significant benefit, preventive care can also save you money. Those “saved” health care dollars can then be spent on family vacations, home improvements or whatever else you choose.

Tests and early interventions can identify, prevent or manage diseases before they become more serious. Screenings are recommended based on your age, gender, habits and medical history. Vaccinations and flu shots are always something to consider.

Preventive care could save your life. At the very least, it could well improve your quality of life. In addition to health benefits, preventive care helps manage your health care costs. Take colorectal cancer, for example. Studies have shown early detection of colorectal cancer can save $100,000 or more per person in medical costs.

Your doctor can help you determine and schedule the tests that are right for you. It’s important to develop and maintain a relationship with a primary care physician. By doing so, your doctor becomes your health advocate who ensures you receive the care and screenings you need based on your risks and family health history.

You should also reach out to your health insurance provider to see what preventive care benefits your plan offers. You may be surprised to find a variety of screenings and treatments are available in your benefits package. Remember, your health insurance plan is there to help you, not just when you’re sick, but also before you run into any health issues. It’s a good practice to check in with your health plan’s customer service representatives before scheduling an appointment because benefits may change from year to year based on updated recommendations from federal health officials and advisory panels.

Free preventive screenings are offered as part of this year’s Be Well Utah observance, which is sponsored by University of Utah Health Care and Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah. Activities run from August 20-27, with the free screenings being offered at the Midvalley Health Center, Harmons Station Park, South Jordan Health Center, Huntsman Cancer Institute (by appointment only), Liberty Senior Center and Rice Eccles Stadium.

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