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Private Health Insurance Plans Article

Preventive Healthcare: The Cheapest Way To Stay Healthy

Preventive Healthcare: The Cheapest Way To Stay Healthy

By Irina

The author grants permission to publish this article, in
its entirety, electronically or in print, as long as the
bylines are included. Other articles by Irina are available

Who won't agree that prevention is the most economical form
of healthcare? Yet, a recent government study showed that
55% of all Americans do not receive preventive services
such as:
- immunizations,
- screening tests, and
- education about healthy habits and injury prevention.

It used to be simple: everyone needed a standardized
"complete physical" exam once a year. But in the 1980s, an
independent committee of physicians called the U.S.
Preventive Services Task Force concluded that over the long
run, it doesn't pay off in terms of better health and
longer life.

The good old head-to-toe physical became unnecessary for
healthy people, since it yields too few benefits for its
cost. Some routine tests, such as chest X-rays,
electrocardiograms (EKGs), urine tests, and complete blood
counts are now reserved only for people with symptoms or
risk factors.

No wonder that both doctors and patients are confused by
contradictory recommendations. What should a medical
checkup consist of? Does everybody need an annual physical?
Should all men get a PSA test? At what age should a woman
start having mammograms?

Experts will continue to argue, but each of us has to make
his/her own choice. With insurance premiums constantly
rising, simply getting an access to preventive services is
a serious financial challenge, but there are some
alternatives that give us hope.

The most promising is the idea of so-called patient
advocacy via health care savings programs. The availability
and popularity of these programs is picking up year after
year, as more and more people, unable to get or afford
health insurance, are discovering them for the first time.
These programs negotiate prices with health care providers
on behalf of their members. Since they represent large
groups, the resulting discounts are usually the same that
the hospitals and physicians give to big insurance

Unlike traditional insurance model, the patient advocacy
actually encourages people to seek medical help as soon as
the need arises thus preventing "little aches" form
developing into life-threatening illnesses and financial
disasters. Monthly membership fee is affordable and no one
can be turned down because of a pre-existing condition.

Many of such programs also allow their members to
contribute money to medical savings accounts. Federal law
makes this an attractive option, because medical savings
accounts are tax deductible or not taxable at all, as long
as the funds are used to pay for healthcare.

(C) by Irina 2003.

About the Author:
Irina helps people save money on healthcare and create
steady stream of residual income working from home

About the Author

About the Author:
Irina helps people save money on healthcare and create
steady stream of residual income working from home

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