May 20, 2019
As a mom, you're always taking care of everyone else in the family. From remembering who needs to bring their science fair project, to making sure birthdays are the perfect celebration, to drying tears over a skinned knee, you are always there to help. Sometimes you need a little reminder to make sure you're also getting the care you need!
Here are a few preventive care guidelines to help you stay feeling your best.
Annual physical and vaccines – An annual visit with your primary care provider (PCP) is an important step in setting goals for your health. It can also establish a baseline for any future issues that come up. This is also a good time to make sure you are up-to-date on all vaccine schedules.
You may also need vaccines to protect against human papillomavirus (which can cause certain cancers), meningococcal disease, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and chickenpox.
Do you plan to travel? Vaccines can protect you from diseases that are rare in the United States but found elsewhere such as yellow fever. Talk to your provider and check your plan coverage on these types of vaccines.
You can read more about adult immunizations here:
As a SmartHealth member, preventive history and physical examinations are covered once annually. Need to schedule an annual wellness visit with a PCP? Visit mysmarthealth.org to find a provider near you.
Well-woman visits and family planning – Regular well-woman visits to your PCP and/or OBGYN can help with maintaining your reproductive health, managing your fertility, and the early detection of issues pertaining to reproductive cancers and breast health. They also include a full checkup with a focus on preventive care. You may also receive vaccines, screenings or tests, and counseling to help you make informed decisions about your health.
Each Plan Year, a SmartHealth member may choose a maximum of two of the following three services:
If a member receives one or two of the foregoing services in a calendar year, the services will be covered as provided in the Plan.
Mammograms and breast care – Regular mammograms can help detect breast cancer at an early stage, when treatment is most successful. A mammogram can find cancer-related breast changes years before physical symptoms develop. Results from many decades of research clearly show that women who have regular mammograms are more likely to have early breast cancer detection, and are less likely to need aggressive treatment like surgery to remove the breast (mastectomy) and chemotherapy, and have higher cure rates. Be aware of any pain or changes to the appearance of your breasts, including dimpling, redness, persistent itching, or other changes, and talk to your provider if you have concerns. For SmartHealth members, mammography and digitization benefits cover one baseline for females ages 35-39 years and one annually for females age 40 and over.
Healthy diet and weight management – Being a mom requires a lot of energy to keep up with the family’s activities. Making sure you take time to eat right can help you maintain your health and feel your best. Meal planning for the week or cooking larger portions for healthy leftovers can help take the stress out of cooking healthy weekday dinners. Choose healthy meals and snacks, limit your intake of high-fat, processed or high-sugar foods, and make sure to drink plenty of water regularly!
For SmartHealth members who need a little more help with managing diet, the medical plan covers behavioral counseling in primary care to promote a healthy diet (also known as diet counseling) benefits. The plan covers six sessions per calendar year for those aged 19 and older. For help with maintaining a healthy weight, SmartHealth members can receive obesity screenings (covered for ages six years and older) up to seven sessions per calendar year.
Talk with your provider if you need help managing your weight.
Colonoscopy Screening – Colorectal cancer, cancer that starts in the colon or rectum, is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States. Screening is the number one way you can reduce your risk of colon and rectal cancer. Screenings are covered once every 10 years from age 50-75 for SmartHealth members as part of your standard preventive health benefits. Everyone over the age of 50 should get a screening for colon cancer. If you have other risk factors such as family history, are African-American, have a history of cancer, or are currently having any symptoms you should discuss getting a screening before age 50 with your provider.*Adapted from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/screening-tests-and-early-detection/american-cancer-society-recommendations-for-the-early-detection-of-breast-cancer.html