Preventive care: the secret to staying healthy

Many of us only think of visiting our doctors when we feel ill – but prioritizing preventive care is actually one of those most critical things you can do for your lifelong health. Think of it like the routine maintenance your car needs to run smoothly and have a long lifespan. But instead of oil changes and tire rotations, your routine maintenance should include yearly check-ups, screenings for chronic diseases and updated immunizations.

Why is preventive care so important? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if everyone in the United States received the recommended clinical preventative care, more than 100,000 lives could be saved each year. 

Early screenings for diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease make treatments more successful and help lower the cost of long-term care. Preventive care also promotes healthy lifestyles through counseling on smoking, weight loss, healthy eating and reducing alcohol intake.

The following lists include some of the critical preventive care services available.

For everyone:

  • Immunizations
  • Depression screenings 
  • Obesity screenings and counseling 

For adults:

  • Blood pressure screenings 
  • Type 2 diabetes screenings 
  • Alcohol misuse screenings and counseling 
  • Diet counseling
  • HIV screenings and counseling

For women:

  • Breast cancer screenings
  • Contraception counseling
  • Cervical cancer screenings 
  • Check-ups for pregnant women
  • Counseling for nursing moms
  • Osteoporosis screening 

For children:

  • Well-baby and well-child exams
  • Vision and hearing screenings
  • Autism screenings at 18 and 24 months
  • Behavioral assessments
  • Developmental screenings

Most medical insurance providers cover 100% of preventive care, so budget does not need to be a barrier to routine health screenings for you and your family. 

For more information on the preventative care benefits, check with your insurance company or visit healthcare.gov.

Why immunizations are important for the entire family

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? This has been a hot topic for years, debated by doctors, celebrities, politicians, parents and even kids. 

The proven, science-based fact is this: immunizations are crucial to your health.

Immunizations protect our children from many of the infectious diseases that killed or disabled children just a few decades ago. They also help the vaccinated individual protect others who are unvaccinated, such as babies, and protect those who need protection from infectious disease such as pregnant women, cancer patients and immunocompromised individuals. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines are very safe and only given to children after careful review by scientists, doctors and healthcare professionals.

But what about immunizations for adults, you ask? They are just as important.

Being a grown up is an endless cycle of multitasking. Sometimes we forget to add water to the coffee machine or show up to the office with our shirts inside out. So, it’s not surprising that some of us may forget or just skip our own vaccinations. 

Every year, thousands of adults become ill from the flu and other vaccine-preventable diseases. Some vaccines can wear off over time, while others are recommended for certain age groups. 

Organizations like the CDC and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend the following immunizations:

  • Flu: yearly, all adults
  • Tdap: every 10 years, all adults
  • HPV: single dose, adults under age 26
  • Shingles: single dose, adults over 50
  • Pneumococcal: two doses, adults over 65

The vaccine is one of the most important medical discoveries of our lifetime and one of the greatest public health success stories. Vaccines have greatly reduced the infection rate of diseases like measles, diphtheria whooping cough, and they will continue to be our most important tool in the fight against preventable disease in the future.


For more information, visit the CDC Vaccines and Immunizations website.