A recent federal court ruling could affect how health insurers cover basic preventive health care services.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network want to assure members that your care and coverage will not change because of this court ruling. The case is still pending in court, and we are monitoring further developments.
Preventive care services are some of the most important health care visits our members can make to support their whole health. These services – like no-cost screenings and preventive medications – help save lives through early detection.
Preventive care is often coordinated through an individual’s primary care provider as a part of an annual physical. Doctors use these visits to check for chronic conditions – like diabetes and high blood pressure. About 60% of adult Americans have at least one chronic condition. Left untreated, chronic conditions can lead to additional health problems for the individual – which becomes costlier for them and their family, as well as the health care system. Doctors also use these visits to keep an individual on track with the recommended schedule of vaccines and screening tests for certain types of cancer.
Preventive screenings can detect many severe and possibly terminal conditions at early stages:
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for one in five deaths among American adults in 2020. Risk factors for heart disease, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar, are often symptomless. Scheduling an annual physical is important to screen for potential risks for heart disease and to determine if additional tests are needed. Heart disease is easier to treat when detected early.
- Colon cancer is easier to treat, and good outcomes are more likely, when detected early. During a screening, doctors often detect pre-cancerous polyps and remove them before they have a chance to develop into cancer. By comparison, in the late stage, colon cancer has spread to other parts of the body and is more difficult to treat. Rates of colon cancer are increasing in younger adults, and is now a leading cause of death among people under the age of 50 in the U.S.
- Cervical cancer often carries no symptoms untilit is in an advanced stage, making it more difficult to treat. Cervical cancer is very preventable if women are vaccinated against the HPV virus and are screened regularly for cervical cancer or precancerous lesions. The majority of cases of cervical cancer occur in women who have not been screened.
Blue Cross and BCN strongly encourage our members to continue to access these preventive care services. Individuals should talk with their doctor regarding screening recommendations and exams specific to their age, health history or risk factors.
Members can get started by using our online search engine, which provides an easy way to find a doctor near them.
More from MIBluesPerspectives:
- Doctor's Appointments to Make This Year
- CEO: Primary Care Doctors are Essential to Preventive Care
- Cancer Screenings 101: What You Need at Every Age
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