TRICARE Preventive Health Benefits Women Should Know
FALLS CHURCH, VA, May 25, 2023 - Eating well, exercising often, and getting enough sleep are habits that can help you live your healthiest life. And when it comes to feeling and staying well, getting preventive health care is also a must.
Preventive care refers to health screenings, exams, and other services that can diagnose and treat health problems early. In some cases, preventive care can stop health problems before they start.
“It’s important for all women to get their recommended preventive services,” said Jeannine Pickrell, RN, nurse consultant for Disease Management & Population Health at the Defense Health Agency. “Even if you feel well or live an active lifestyle, the only way to know if you have certain health issues is to see your health care provider.”
Getting preventive care is convenient. TRICARE covers all clinical preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs to you if you use a TRICARE network provider, as described in the TRICARE Costs and Fees Fact Sheet. But if you’re age 65 or older and you have TRICARE For Life, follow Medicare’s rules for getting preventive care.
Many preventive services are included in well-women exams, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HP&DP) exams, or both. This lets you get multiple preventive services during one visit. You can also get preventive services when you get other routine care. But depending on your plan’s rules, you may have a copayment or cost-shares for any non-preventive services you get during your visit.
Read on to learn more about preventive services recommended for women. Keep in mind that your age, family history, and other risk factors also play a role in which services are medically necessary for you and covered by TRICARE.
TRICARE covers yearly well-woman exams for women under age 65. Your well-woman exam may include a breast exam, pelvic exam, and Pap test. If you’re age 30 or older, you can also get HPV DNA testing if the test is in conjunction with a Pap test. Your provider may also order other preventive services, like mammograms and breast MRIs, or schedule follow-up services, if needed.
Your well-woman exam is a great time to talk to your provider about birth control and other aspects of your reproductive health. Check out tips for getting ready for your well-woman visit to learn more.
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Exams
You can get many other preventive services during a covered HP&DP exam. TRICARE covers yearly HP&DP exams if you’re enrolled in TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select.
During your HP&DP exam, your provider will check your blood pressure and body mass index. Your age and other factors will determine what other preventive services you’ll receive. These services may include screenings for certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, infectious diseases, and osteoporosis.
Patient education is also preventive care. So, don’t forget to talk to your provider about your health goals or any health concerns during your visit. You can talk to your provider about things like healthy eating, getting more exercise, mental health, relationship health, and more. These conversations are critical for helping you stay on the path of good health.