By Scott Charbonneau, Managing Director of Insurance Business Development
Did you know the most valuable benefit of almost any insurance plan is free?
Nearly all major health plans include preventive care benefits with no out-of-pocket expenses when you seek care within your plan’s network. Plus, these benefits are built into all health plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — including those offered by Guidestone®.
Preventive care benefits provide you, your family and your team services such as:
- Annual physicals for adults
- Cancer, diabetes and blood pressure screenings
- Mammograms and well-woman screenings
- Immunizations for children and adults
- Prenatal and fetal screenings
- Routine checkups for infants, children and teens
- Developmental screenings for toddlers
Why preventive care?
No-cost, preventive care benefits shift the focus and cost of health care to the front end of disease treatment and can help individuals avoid more complex and costly issues later.
In addition to being excellent for your health and wise for your budget, preventive care is good stewardship. In Isaiah 43:7, the prophet explains that God formed us and created us for His glory. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, the Apostle Paul encourages Christians to glorify God in our bodies and spirits. It is clear that God cares about how we treat the physical bodies that He gave us.
Those who serve in ministry understand that we must keep our bodies in top physical condition to use them to serve God and His church well. That’s much easier to do when we are healthy. Accessing the preventive care benefits in your health plan and taking care of your physical body is the first step in this commitment to stewardship.
Preventive care is especially important for pastors who, as a group, tend to be unhealthier than their peers in other professions. In his book, High Calling, High Anxiety, GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins, says that the stress of serving causes many pastors to ignore their own health needs. In the book’s appendix, he shares steps to begin a journey to greater well-being.
“Each of us is primarily responsible for our own wellness. We have a personal choice in how we react and change with every experience in life. Many illnesses could be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle. We can make wise choices to prevent illness and aid in recovery from disease.” He explains.
Seeking preventive care is one way you and other ministry leaders can begin taking control of your health.
Preventive Care attends to your health today — and tomorrow.
Preventive care can help you grow in Christ-Centered well-being in three specific ways:
1. Maintain optimum health today
Everyone wants to feel their best every day of their lives, and preventive care makes that easier than ever. When you receive a clean bill of health after a checkup, you can feel confident that you are successfully managing your health. When your team member takes his child in for a routine checkup, the medical provider can monitor the youngster’s growth to ensure that development progresses as expected. These visits provide tremendous peace of mind for the parent and keep the patient’s health on track.
2. Build your individual health care file
It’s crucial to establish a baseline to know if you are heading in the right direction. Your preventive care records provide your health care provider reference points from which to judge your overall health from year to year. These records offer physicians a chance to dive deeper into your health history and the benefit of reviewing your progress over time. Information in your health timeline can guide your health care professionals to identify and manage any deviations quickly.
3. Mitigate health problems
Today’s medical professionals have an arsenal of care options to protect our health. Many are included in your health plan’s preventive care benefits. Some familiar examples include immunizations and your annual flu shot.
There are also screenings for health issues that could develop into more severe problems later. The screenings include mammograms and periodic testing for diseases, such as diabetes and cancer. If these issues are detected early, there is a greater chance of finding the right treatment and even making a full recovery.
Preventive Care Saves You Cash
Engaging in preventive care is a financial win-win for the individual receiving the health care and the ministry providing the health plan. Since preventive care services are at no cost to the participant, there is no financial barrier to receiving care.
Additionally, preventive care monitoring can identify health care issues during their early stages, when they are less costly to control. For example, a routine checkup could flag high blood pressure, which can be managed by diet and low-cost medication. If left unchecked, high blood pressure can cause a myriad of other costly health problems. This type of preventive care gives the covered individual the best shot at staying healthy and avoids astronomical claims against his or her plan.
How do I get started with preventive care?
Take a few minutes today to review your health plan’s Preventive Care Schedule to learn which benefits are available and schedule your appointments and screenings for 2021 now. Encourage your team to do the same.
You can also download this free handout that we provide to GuideStone participants highlighting how to use their preventive care benefits. Share this valuable resource with your team, too!
GuideStone is a leading provider of employee benefits for SBC churches, ministries, organizations and institutions. Visit GuideStone.orgto learn more about how they can help you with insurance, retirement, investments and more.
Scott Charbonneau is managing director of insurance business development at GuideStone. He has served at GuideStone since 2002. Scott has a bachelor’s degree in industrial distribution from Texas A&M University and a Master of Business Administration from Baylor University. Scott has served in multiple capacities at GuideStone, giving him a vast knowledge of retirement, property and casualty, and insurance solutions for churches and ministries. In addition to helping clients, Scott serves as a deacon and life connection teacher at First Baptist Church, Hurst, Texas, where his wife, Kellie, is the preschool minister. He is past president of the Hurst Heritage Foundation and a board member of StrongMarriages. He has served on mission teams, sharing God’s love in North Dakota, West Africa and East Asia. Scott and Kellie have two sons, Keeton and Kyle, and a daughter, Kendall.
GuideStone welcomes the opportunity to share this general information. However, this article is not intended to be relied upon as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.