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Importance of Pennsylvanians Accessing Preventive Men’s Health Services

by Pennsylvania Insurance Department

June is Men’s Health Month, and the Shapiro Administration is reminding Pennsylvania men about the importance of accessing the preventive health services that are available to them at no cost through their insurance.

“Preventive health services continue to save lives each and every day, and the Pennsylvania Insurance Department wants to remind people that these life-saving services are available at no cost through most – if not all – major medical health insurance plans,” said Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Michael Humphreys. “During Men’s Health Month, PID urges consumers to prioritize their health and take control of their future by accessing the free preventive health services covered under most policies.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), preventive health services play an important role in identifying life-threatening illnesses before symptoms appear, and are most effective when individuals know their family history as it relates to hereditary illnesses. Knowing this information helps doctors better understand a patient’s predisposition to certain illnesses and increases the odds of preventing disease. Additionally, preventive services are also known to positively influence better health habits throughout their lifetime when accessed annually.

“It’s crucial to understand that many diseases impact men’s health, such as high blood pressure, testicular cancer, and colon cancer, which can go undiagnosed and without obvious symptoms for long periods of time. When identified through preventative services in the earlier stages, the health outcomes are better,” said Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Debra Bogen. “As we celebrate National Men’s Health Month, let us champion the power of proactive health care and wellness for all men.”

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), passed by Congress and signed into law in 2010, requires that most health insurers provide coverage for preventative health services that possess strong scientific evidence to positively affect overall health to individuals at no cost, meaning they do not have to pay a deductible, copayment, or coinsurance. These services include, but are not limited to:  

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm one-time screening  
  • Alcohol misuse screening and counseling  
  • Anxiety disorders screening 
  • Blood pressure screening  
  • Cholesterol screening   
  • Colorectal cancer screening 
  • Depression and suicide risk screening  
  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection screening 
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection screening 
  • Hypertension screening 
  • Latent tuberculosis infection screening for adults at increased risk 
  • Lung cancer screening  
  • Obesity screening and counseling  
  • Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes screening 
  • Unhealthy drug use screening (asking questions about unhealthy drug use) 
  • Immunizations (including Measles, Shingles, and Pneumococcal)   

Consumers can learn more about the free preventive health services they’re entitled to through their insurance at

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is using Men’s Health Month to amplify its messaging centered around substance use disorder and to notify Pennsylvanians that help is available – regardless of insurance – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“Men’s Health Month is a reminder to us all that substance use disorder is a family disease that impacts fathers, sons, brothers, and entire families,” said DDAP Secretary Dr. Latika Davis-Jones. “In addition, we know that overdose rates in Pennsylvania are much higher for men than women, and drilling down even more, we’re seeing Black men die from an overdose at disproportionately higher rates than their white counterparts – we must continue to work to destigmatize reaching out for help, meet vulnerable populations where they are, and remind everyone to carry naloxone to prevent future overdose deaths.”

To address this growing disparity, the Shapiro Administration awarded more than $6 million in grant funding for organizations to establish or expand substance use disorder (SUD) services, community outreach, and education to communities of color struggling with the opioid overdose crisis. Nineteen organizations were awarded funding to provide services, outreach, and/or education to communities of color that promote access to harm reduction services, low-barrier SUD and medication-assisted treatment (MAT), recovery and peer supports, and/or offender reentry supports.

Help is available for Pennsylvanians looking for substance use disorder treatment options or resources for themselves or a loved one. Pennsylvanians can call DDAP’s Get Help Now Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This confidential hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to all Pennsylvanians regardless of insurance and is available in both English and Spanish. It is staffed by trained professionals who can connect Pennsylvanians directly to local treatment and resources. There is also a chat option on the DDAP website as well as a texting option at 717-216-0905 for individuals who prefer that method.

PID urges Pennsylvanians who have insurance questions, or who wish to file a complaint on a denied preventive service, to contact PID’s Consumer Services Bureau online or by calling 1-877-881-6388.

Follow PID on X and like the Department on Facebook.    

The post Importance of Pennsylvanians Accessing Preventive Men’s Health Services appeared first on BCTV.

Source: bctv

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