We go to the doctor when we’re feeling sick, but it’s just as important to go in for regular visits and tests to catch developing medical issues early.
Most health plans are required to cover a set of preventive services at no cost to you! Below are some common recommendations for adult preventive health. Review your plan documents or talk with your provider ahead of your visit to confirm the service will be covered under your medical plan.
- Blood pressure reading: Annual blood pressure checks can help reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack.
- Cholesterol test: Get your cholesterol checked at least every 4 to 6 years.
- Gynecologist: Persons with a uterus should see their gynecologist annually, according to the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative. Starting at age 21, you should get a pap smear to test for cervical cancer at least every three years (assuming your results are negative) until you turn 65.
- Mammograms: Mammogram frequency can depend on family history, but guidance from the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative is that they should begin between age 40 and 50 and continue annually or every other year through at least age 74.
- Prostate exam: Persons with a prostate should be screened for prostate cancer beginning at age 50, or sooner depending on family history.
- Colonoscopy: This exam is recommended for adults beginning at age 45. Frequency depends on test results and family history.
- Diabetes screening: Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes screening is recommended for adults 35 to 70 who are overweight or obese.
- Bone density screening: This osteoporosis test is crucial for persons who have gone through menopause.