When it comes to your car or home, you know the value of preventive maintenance. Addressing a small problem before it turns into a big one can save you lots of time, money and stress. The same idea applies to your health.
By following recommended screening guidelines for your age and risk factors, and going to your doctor for an annual checkup, you are practicing preventive maintenance on yourself. Detecting cancers or diseases early means they are more likely be treatable. For example, if a doctor determines you have prediabetes, you can make lifestyle changes and begin an exercise and diet regimen that can help stop the disease in its tracks.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Diabetes is also a useful example of how much more expensive it is to treat a disease than to prevent it.
The American Diabetes Association reports that people diagnosed with diabetes incur an average of about $13,700 in medical expenditures per year. More than half of that – $7,900 – is because of diabetes. The medical bills for people with diagnosed diabetes are, on average, approximately 2.3 times higher than what they would have been if they didn’t have diabetes.
That’s just one example. The same is true of many other diseases and conditions. And even if you do have a condition like diabetes, managing it well with regular visits and screenings for eye and kidney disease can help you avoid costly and devastating complications.
Diseases also have lots of indirect costs, like being absent from work, reduced productivity at work or the inability to work. By comparison, prevention is a bargain! In fact, many preventive care services are covered at 100 percent under most medical plans.
If you’re due for a screening, have a family history of certain health problems or have other risk factors for disease, don’t put off taking action. Being proactive with your health can save you from a lot of problems later on.