During the year-plus of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have postponed routine health care screenings. However, with vaccinations now readily available across the United States for all adults, it’s time for everyone to catch up on any missed medical assessments.
June is Men’s Health Month, and it’s worth pointing out that men are less likely than women to get their routine physical exams and screenings—even in normal times. One survey found that 55% of men had not gotten their annual physical, and large percentages of men have typically delayed screenings for serious chronic conditions.
In honor of Men’s Health Month, here’s a rundown of some of the screenings you—or the men in your life—should make time for.
Although it’s not really a “screening,” getting your COVID-19 vaccine should be at the top of your priority list. It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s the best way to make sure you and your loved ones are protected as we emerge from the pandemic.
You can get vaccinated at a plethora of mass vaccination sites, pharmacies, hospitals, and even pop-up events around the country. Remember that you’re not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Essential health screenings
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA or Obamacare), insurance plans must cover certain essential health screenings free of charge. Even if you haven’t met your deductible, you can get these screenings with no copay or coinsurance from any doctor in your network as long as you meet the criteria.
Men should discuss these screenings with their doctor to determine if they are right for their risk factors. This can prevent and screen for the most common causes of death and disability in the US.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
Blood sugar screening
Colorectal cancer screening
Fall prevention in adults as needed
Cardiovascular disease risk calculation
Hepatis B and C screening
Sexual Transmitted infection screening
Screening for high blood pressure
Lung and skin cancer screening
Unhealthy drug use, alcohol use, and smoking screening
Prostate cancer screening
Depending on your age, risk factors, and current state of health, you may need additional health screenings. While these health checks may not be covered 100% by your insurance, most insurance policies will pay a portion of the costs for medically necessary testing. Always follow your doctor’s guidance when it comes to your health.
Also: don’t forget about the dentist! If you put off routine dental care during the pandemic, now is the time to schedule a checkup and cleaning.
Visiting medical professionals is not fun for most people, but it’s essential to maintaining your health and wellness. Remember, whether it’s your physical health, mental health, or dental health, it’s always far easier to treat a small problem when it emerges than to let it develop into a major health crisis.