YOUR HEALTH: Insurance Plans Often Reward Healthy Living | Lifestyles


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about preventive health care.

Previously in my professional career, I was a Senior Workplace Wellness Ambassador and Wellness Coordinator.

A big part of my job as a workplace wellness professional was to help employees understand how their perks could help them save money, make healthier choices, know their numbers and know where they might need to make some adjustments.

I worked closely with the insurance company through which we purchased our employee insurance plan. I learned the ins and outs from their website, including how to get in touch with someone who can help assess the cost of a procedure or find out if a drug is covered.

Another feature of insurance is health education, as well as the ability to track activity and offer incentives.

Taking a wellness survey earns me points so I can get free things. I’ve had a decent karaoke machine and cornhole game in the past and plan to do some Christmas shopping this year with the points I earned from the program.

Many screenings are available at no cost to employees and dependents. These include annual blood tests, smears, mammograms, colonoscopies, and many other prevention tools. (Check with your provider what is covered as free age-appropriate screening).

I recently discovered that while a colonoscopy for screening (not diagnostic) purposes is typically covered by business plans, the prep solution may not be.

So, if you are over 50 and need to be screened and have financial hurdles, consult your doctor for alternatives, coupons, or other less expensive solutions.

It is important that we do the screening tests and preventative programming in order to save ourselves a lot of money, and possibly our lives.

Mammograms now have 3-D technology which can detect very small abnormalities. Treatments can start early to help prevent or lessen a serious problem.

Age-appropriate colonoscopies can detect something that, if not detected, could become a life-threatening concern.

Most insurance plans also cover things like the flu shot and various other vaccines.

For those who participate in insurance or Medicaid programs, they most likely cover the same preventative options; However, each plan may be different, so check with your provider.

I encourage you, whatever your coverage, to check out what is available to you.

There may be hidden treasures that you may not know about. If you are uninsured, look for community programs that offer free or heavily discounted services.

interesting facts: Says Gum Disease Is Associated With Increased Risk For Heart Disease; that tooth loss patterns are associated with coronary artery disease; and that poor dental health increases bacteria in the blood that can affect heart valves. says having regular screening mammograms reduces your risk of dying from breast cancer by 49%. says getting a colonoscopy lowers your risk of developing colon cancer.

A separate study indicates that colonoscopy offers at least ten years of protection against death from colon cancer.

Of course, also do your part of preventative care at home: brush your teeth and floss twice a day, do monthly breast self-exams, eat plenty of fiber as part of a healthy diet. and balanced and get regular physical activity to give you a head start in preventing disease and disability.

Liz Jones owns Liz Jones Wellness LLC in Hunt and Rockwall Counties and is building the Jones Wellness Ranch north of Greenville. She can be contacted at [email protected] or through her website at


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