Health is one of the most important things in your life. The genius in you knows to get a health check-up every year. But of course, we get busy and forget. Did you know that there are free services provided through your health insurance? Do you know which screenings are recommended for your age? Or even your children or parents’ age? Different services and screenings are recommended for different ages, so be aware!

Since medical expenses in the United States are high, you should pay even more attention to health check-ups and learn how you can save!

Since 2013, there have been free preventive care services for those who have health insurance. There are different services for different age groups.

Here we have summarized a few suggestions on what screenings are important and recommended for your age group!

Just had a newborn? Have kids in the family?

For those who have children at home, check-ups are focused on children’s development and growth, seeing if they are learning the basic skills they should be at the age they are at.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), about 13% of children ages 3 to 17 have a developmental or behavioral disability such as autism, intellectual disability, and ADHD.

It is recommended that children should get a check-up three times before they turn 3 years old—at 9 months, 18 months, and 24/30 months—because early intervention can improve a child’s development.

Autism screening for 1-4 year olds, behavioral assessments for 0-17 year olds, and many more are all included in Obamacare’s free preventive care services!

What to look out for in your 20s, 30s, and 40s

Managing work and helping out the family can be pretty energy draining and can take a toll on your body. Sometimes, you might even take pills because it’ll make you feel better but what you don’t realize is that your body just needs to rest. For this reason, it’s important to get checkups!

Starting from age 20, especially for women, it is recommended to see a gynecologist once every 1-2 years. For those who go out and party a lot or drink with friends, be cautious of your health because your risk of hepatitis and digestive tract infections might be just a little bit higher.

Starting from age 30, it is important to watch out for your blood sugar. If you find that you’re often thirsty, fatigued, or losing weight, you should be cautious. These relate to the 18 tests we often hear about including uric acid, blood glucose check-up, blood lipids check-up, liver screening, renal screening, and more. From these screenings, it is possible to tell whether gout, hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and other potential diseases are potential risks and if you need to take immediate action in adjusting your diet.

Starting from age 40, you must be cautious of your heart and possible cardiovascular problems. The risk of chronic diseases, especially cancer, is higher at this age.

This age is also the time to get screened for cervical cancer and breast cancer because the risk at this age is very high. Research has shown that the risk of ovarian cancer increased significantly in middle-aged women, with no symptoms showing the disease in early stages. This just goes to show how essential it is to get a pap smear to test for cervical cancer. Around 90% of the time, early detection is done and treatment is performed before the cancer becomes serious.

50 never looked better!

At this age, your colon, bone density, blood pressure, and blood fat are a few of the most important things you need to lookout for. Doctors recommend getting check-ups for colonoscopy, colorectal cancer screening, and gastrointestinal endoscopy once every year. If you did not take good care of your health when you were younger, then you might want to be extra cautious of the possible risks of cancer.

There are so many services… which ones are free? Which ones are covered by my health insurance?

Each insurance company’s health insurance benefits are different. For example, some offer free mammogram screenings for females every year while some offer it every two years. Because of these differences, it is important to check with your insurance broker to see what benefits you have and what your insurance covers.

Kaiser Permanente’s Free Preventive Care Services
• Blood pressure, cholesterol check
• Colorectal cancer screening for those 50+
• Type 2 Diabetes screening for those with hypertension
• Breast cancer x-ray screening for women 40+
• Cervical cancer screening for those who are getting married and pregnant
• Osteoporosis screening for women 60+
(This is only for reference, make sure you check the details on your policy)

Other screening precautions

  • It is currently Open Enrollment period. The deadline is January 31, 2017. (Click here and get a quote now!)
  • If you have HMO, you must go to a family doctor for a referral to get these health check-ups. If you have PPO, make sure the hospital and doctor you want to see is in the contract and within the medical network of your insurance plan
  • If you have already gotten a check-up in the past year, you need to wait until the next year for the next check-up. In other words, if you have gotten a medical exam in March 2016, you have to wait until March 2017 to get your next exam regardless of whether or not you changed insurance companies and insurance plans
  • Free annual health check-ups are limited in terms of the information you receive so if you want a more detailed and informative check-up, then the medical cost will be more expensive