Director's Message

Director's Message

Check in on your health

Each month, as I write another article, I once again realize how quickly time is passing. It seems as if it was only yesterday when we were entering a new year and talking about resolutions, goals and the newness of 2022.

If you are like me, you may have good intentions at the start of each new year, which may include saving money, spending more time with the family, planning an exotic vacation, or taking extra time for self-care. Although we all start with good intentions, more often than not, the plans we carefully create in our minds do not happen the way we envision. Too often, we get caught up in the mad rush of life, and the appointment we meant to schedule is placed on the back burner. Before we realize it, a year or two has passed by. Luckily, we all have triggers that bring us back to those plans.

An example of this just happened to me when I reviewed my Postal Record archives to determine the last time I wrote about preventive care. To my dismay and shock, I learned that the last article was in 2020.

So, with that in mind and more than half of this year gone, there is no better opportunity than now for us all to check in. How is your health? Do you have any health concerns? And are you scheduling preventive care?

As we all know, having timely or regular checkups can help detect problems at an early stage and are essential to our overall well-being.

With that said, let’s go over a few of the benefits we offer to make sure that you are checking in on your health needs.

In 2022, we cover the following at 100 percent when you use a PPO provider:

  • Routine physical exam—one annually, age 22 and older
  • Biometric screening—one annually; including
    • Calculation of body mass index
    • Waist circumference measurement
    • Total blood cholesterol
    • Blood pressure check
    • Fasting blood sugar
  • Routine mammogram for women ages 35 and older, as follows:
    • Age 35-39, one during this five-year period
    • Age 40 and older, one every calendar year
  • Routine pap smear test for females age 21-65—one every three years
  • Initial office visit associated with a covered routine sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy screening test
  • Osteoporosis screening, limited to:
    • All postmenopausal women younger than age 65 who are at increased risk as recommended by the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF)
    • Women age 65 and older
  • Basic and comprehensive metabolic panel blood test—one annually
  • Colorectal cancer screening for adults age 45-85—one every 10 years
  • High blood pressure screening as recommended by USPSTF
  • Prostate specific antigen screening for eligible adults age 40-69 per USPSTF guidelines
Please keep in mind that these are only highlights of some of the adult preventive care benefits; you should refer to our brochure for a comprehensive list.

I think we can agree that routine examinations and staying healthy are important for adults, but we also need to make sure that children receive their routine care, too. Good habits start at a young age and children are not immune to health issues.

Remember, when a PPO provider is used, we cover the following routine well-child visits, examinations and immunizations as described in the Bright Futures Guidelines provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics at 100 percent.

  • Initial examination of a newborn child covered under a family enrollment
  • Well-child care—routine examinations through age 2
  • Routine physical exam (including camp, school and sports physicals)—one annually age 3-21
  • Examinations done on the day of covered immunizations, age 3-21

To review a complete list and determine coverage for immunizations, such as DTap, polio, measles, mumps and more, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. You can also find a complete list of preventive care services recommended on the USPSTF website.

In closing, I implore you not to wait another day, month or year to schedule an appointment or practice self-care for you and your family. I don’t want another year to pass by while letting this subject remain quiet. Let’s be mindful of our health, complete our preventative care checklists, and set ourselves up to begin the next year with a healthy start. We have six months remaining in 2022;
let’s make the most of our health journey.

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Note: The information located in this article is only a summary of some of the NALC Health Benefit Plan benefits.  Detailed information can be found in the NALC Health Benefit Plan's official brochure (RI 71-009).  All benefits are subject to the definitions, limitations, and exclusions set forth in the official brochure.