WASHINGTON, D.C. — August is Preventive Health Month — an ideal time to address your health. Preventive health helps you to identify and address health issues before they worsen. Practicing it protects you and your family from disease and illness.
Preventive health for you may also mean finding ways to fit more exercise into your life and healthy food choices — all of these things can help you maintain good health. TRICARE covers many preventive health care services with no out-of-pocket costs to you. How you get preventive care depends on who you are and your TRICARE program option.
TRICARE Prime enrollees can get preventive care from their primary care manager or any TRICARE network provider in their region. You can use a non-network TRICARE-authorized provider with no copayments if you have a referral and authorization. TRICARE Select enrollees pay nothing for covered preventive services if they see a TRICARE network provider.
Preventive services include vaccines, exams, and screenings. Follow these three preventive health tips to help keep you and your family healthy:
1) Make Health Exams Part of Your Child’s Routine
• Routine checkups should be a part of your child’s life from an early age. TRICARE covers primary care, dental, and eye exams for children. Coverage depends on the sponsor’s plan. TRICARE covers well-child care for all dependent children under age 6. This includes health exams starting from birth. There are no out-of-pocket costs for well-child care services when care is provided by a TRICARE network provider.
• According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines are the best way to protect infants, children, and teens from potentially deadly diseases. TRICARE covers age-appropriate vaccines and immunizations that are recommended by the CDC. You can schedule covered vaccines from any TRICARE-authorized provider at no cost. But you may have to pay copayments or cost-shares for the office visit or for other services received during the same visit.
2) Make Health Exams Part of Your Routine
• TRICARE also covers preventive health exams for both women and men. For women under age 65, TRICARE covers well-woman exams. They include breast exams, pelvic exams, and Pap tests to include HPV DNA testing.
• Important health screening tests for men include blood pressure and cancer screenings. One health promotion and disease prevention exam is available yearly to TRICARE Prime and TRICARE beneficiaries.
3) Make Healthy Living a Lifestyle
• Make healthy living a lifestyle. Eating a balanced diet improves your overall health while maintaining a healthy weight. Motivate yourself and your family to eat more fruits and vegetables, drink more water, and limit processed foods.
• Being active lowers your risk of developing chronic conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Check out recommended guidelines to help maintain or improve your health through regular physical activity.
Preventive health is a daily commitment to making smart choices and becoming more proactive about your health. Learn more about your TRICARE preventive health care benefits to help you and your family take command of your health now and for years to come.