Free Health Screenings Under Obamacare
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, many preventive screenings are now available for free. Save on out-of-pocket expenses. Start small with these four screenings.
Nearly one in three Americans has high pressure, also known as hypertension. Blood pressure should be tested every two years after age 18, and more often once you reach 40-and the ACA makes this screening free to all. Women who are pregnant or considering getting pregnant should be especially wary of high blood pressure – this and other issues including free mammogram screening, can be addressed at a well-woman visit, which is also free under the ACA.
Type 2 Diabetes
If you have high blood pressure, you should also have a free type 2 diabetes screening performed. Type 2 diabetes is the most common for of diabetes and often occurs in overweight people. Diabetes occurs when the blood sugar levels are too high, which can lead to nerve damage, kidney disease, blindness and other disabilities. Lowering blood pressure, weight and cholesterol can help to control and manage type 2 diabetes.
Too much cholesterol – a waxy, naturally occurring substance int he body – can build up in the arteries and restrict blood flow. If cholesterol screening indicates high cholesterol, your doctor might recommend medicine or lifestyle changes such as eating food with less fat and cholesterol, exercising more and avoiding tobacco smoke. Screening for cholesterol is recommended every five years for men over age 35, and women who have, or are at risk for heart disease.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can develop into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). No cure for HIV currently exists. If it is caught in early stages, however, HIV can be controlled through the use of antiretroviral therapy (ART), which can help one live a relatively normal life. The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested; therefore everyone aged 15-65 should get tested at least once. Pregnant women should also get tested, as the virus can be spread from mom to baby during delivery and in breastfeeding, unless the mom uses (ART).
A typical HIV screening is performed by taking a blood sample or cheek swab, which can be placed through a rapid test (10-20 minutes) or a lab test (two weeks).