April 17, 2018 Healthy Living

An Apple a Day Really Does Keep the Doctor Away

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but did you know that 40 percent of illness is completely preventable? That’s according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which says 900,000 Americans die each year from conditions that could be avoided through lifestyle changes and preventive care. 

What is preventive care?

As its name suggests, preventive care consists of measures used to prevent the onset of disease. This includes things like immunizations, checkups, cancer screenings, and more depending on your age and gender. In addition to preventing disease before it starts, most of these services are completely free!

Preventive care is FREE!

A key provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a requirement that health plans cover in-network preventive care at no out-of-pocket cost to the consumer. That means, if you have health insurance, you will not pay a copay, coinsurance, or deductible when receiving these services from a doctor who participates with your plan.

As health care costs continue to rise, many young, healthy individuals might be wondering if it’s worth it to buy health insurance. After all, Congress recently unwound a provision of the ACA requiring Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine. If you’re new to the workforce and not making a ton of money, your monthly insurance premium can be a tough pill to swallow. But preventive care can literally save your life, and thousands of dollars down the road.

Preventive care can literally save your life

Just think, a simple glucose screening can detect pre-diabetes, a precursor to one of the most common and costly health conditions in America today. But found early, simple lifestyle changes – like eating well and exercise – can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Likewise, detecting breast, cervical, or colon cancer in its early stages increases survival rates by five times! And finding and removing pre-cancerous polyps can mean the difference between life and death.

Preventive care can save you cold, hard cash

The CDC says chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer account for 75 percent of the nation’s health care spending. In addition to the cost of treating these common conditions, they’re also a drain on the economy, as 69 million Americans report having missed work as a result of illness, reducing economic output by $260 billion a year.

There’s no denying that America needs to get its health care house in order. U.S. spending on health care is expected to rise another 5.3 percent this year, tipping the scales at a whopping $3.5 trillion. While we continue to argue over the causes of rising health care costs, the only antidote in sight might be our own free will.

John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, FACP
About the Author

John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, FACP, is president and CEO of Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan, Inc. (CDPHP), an award-winning, physician aligned, not-for-profit health plan based in Albany, NY. Bennett has held the position since 2008 after serving more than 10 years as chair, vice chair, and board member for CDPHP. During his tenure, CDPHP has been ranked among the top-performing health plans in New York and the nation, most recently named #1 in Customer Satisfaction in the 2023 J.D. Power Member Health Plan Study. Under his leadership, CDPHP has also become known as a model employer regionally and nationally and was recently named among the top five Best Companies to Work for in New York by the Society for Human Resource Management, as well as Forbes Best-in-State Employers 2022. Prior to joining CDPHP, Bennett served as founding member and CEO of Prime Care Physicians, PLLC. During his tenure, he co-led a team of 25 cardiologists and helped grow the practice to a 100-physician multi-specialty group. Bennett is board certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Internal Medicine, with subspecialties in internal medicine and cardiology. He earned his medical degree at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, and a Bachelor of Science degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Bennett completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Albany Medical Center. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Physicians. Bennett is currently board chair for the Center for Economic Growth and the Capital Region Chamber, and vice chair for the Palace Theatre. Bennett also serves on the boards of the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC), the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP), America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Russell Sage Colleges. Bennett is a member of the New York Public Health and Health Planning Council where he helps shape decisions related to New York State's public health and health care delivery system. Well-known locally and nationally for advancing health care innovation, Bennett was recently named to Crain’s New York Business 2021 Notable in Health Care, as well as the Albany Business Review’s Power 50 list.

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