FALSS CHURCH, Va. - Did you make a long list of resolutions this January? Consider one in 2020: taking better care of your health.
“Staying on top of preventive health care helps protect you from disease and illness,” said Dr. James Black, medical director of the Clinical Support Division at Defense Health Agency. “Your provider can help you identify and address health issues before they worsen. Taking better care of your health also means making better food choices and exercise part of your life.”
Tricare covers many preventive health care services with no out-of-pocket costs to you. However, the rules for how and where you get preventive care depends on your sponsor’s status, where you live, and your Tricare plan.
Routine check-ups and health exams
Start by scheduling necessary visits to your provider. Do the same for your family members. Tricare covers preventive health exams for all beneficiaries, with tailored exams for women and for children.
Important preventive health screening tests are covered when provided during a covered Health Promotion and Disease Prevention exam. This includes blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, and more.
For women under age 65, Tricare covers well-woman exams. They include breast exams, pelvic exams, and Pap tests to include HPV DNA testing. Tricare now covers either 2-D mammograms or 3-D mammograms annually for eligible women.
Routine checkups should be a part of your child’s life from an early age. This includes health exams starting at birth. Tricare covers well-child exams for children from birth through age 5. There are no out-of-pocket costs when care is provided by a Tricare network provider. Tricare covers physicals when required for school enrollment. This doesn’t include sports physicals.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines are one of the best ways to protect you from potentially deadly diseases. Tricare covers age-appropriate vaccines and immunizations as recommended by the CDC. You can schedule covered vaccines from any Tricare -authorized provider at no cost. However, you may have to pay copayments or cost-shares for the office visit or for other services received during the same visit. You can get some covered vaccines at Tricare retail network pharmacies.
Take small lifestyle steps
In addition to routine visits with your health care provider, making a commitment to good nutrition and regular exercise will help you stay healthy in 2020. Eating a balanced diet improves your overall health while maintaining a healthy weight. Make an effort to eat more fruits and vegetables, drink more water, and limit processed foods.
“Being active lowers your risk of developing chronic conditions,” said Dr. Black. “These include obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.”
Check out recommended guidelines to help maintain or improve your health through regular physical activity.
Become more focused on your health. Learn more about your Tricare preventive health care benefits to help you and your family take command of your health this year.