Preventive and routine care is care that helps prevent medical problems or find them before they become serious. One of the best things you can do for your medical is to use these services.
What Preventive Care Do I Need?
Ask your doctor which routine exams and tests you should have and how often you should get them. Your plan may have a schedule for these visits. If that schedule does not work for your medical needs, talk to your doctor about changing it.
Preventive Care Can Include
- Prenatal care (care during pregnancy)
- Newborn blood tests
- Well-baby and well-child visits, and immunizations
- Screening for cancer, high cholesterol, and diabetes
- Testing for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), HIV, and hepatitis B and C
- Prostate exams for men
- Breast exams, pelvic exams, and mammograms for women
- Hearing tests and eye exams for children up to age 16.
We now know that being overweight or obese is an important medical issue. It can lead to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, some cancers, and many other serious medical problems. Ask your doctor and your medical plan about programs for people with weight problems. Some plans offer weight management classes and discounts on medical club memberships and diet programs. There are also on-line support programs. Some plans may even pay you money to complete a weight management program. To find out if you are overweight, you can check your Body Mass Index (BMI).
Help to Stop Smoking
Smoking and second-hand smoke can cause cancer, heart disease, strokes, and other serious medical problems. Quitting is not easy, but more and more medical plans are offering services to help you. Ask your doctor and your medical plan about stop-smoking classes. Ask if your plan covers prescription drugs to help you stop smoking. For help to stop smoking, you can also call California Smokers' Helpline (www.californiasmokershelpline.org) at 1-800-662-8887.
Agency for Medicalcare Research and Quality
Government agency with Personal Medical Guides to routine care
1-800-358-9295 (publications only)
California Smoker's Helpline
Telephone and online help to stop smoking
1-800-662-8887 (many languages)
Lab Tests Online
Information about lab tests
National Immunization Hotline
Government agency with a guide to vaccines for children and adults
Obesity and Overweight
Information on obesity and chart to check Body Mass Index (BMI)