This month marks one year since COVID-19 arrived in Maryland and changed the course of many people’s lives. In a matter of seconds, schools, offices, restaurants, and so much more tightened restrictions or closed to the public. Many of us thought that this would only last for a few weeks in order to “flatten the curve” of the infection, but what we didn’t know was that a year later our lives still wouldn’t fully be back to how they were pre-COVID-19.
COVID-19 restrictions and the precautions that individuals were taking due to the disease have deterred many individuals from doing things they were used to doing. Going to the gym, eating out, attending a wedding, and most importantly, attending routine doctor’s appointments have been some of the everyday things that have been pushed to the side. When it came to seeking routine and nonemergency medical care, the data a year into the pandemic shows a significant number of individuals postponed these appointments. The CDC reported that by the end of June 2020, due to concerns about COVID-19, an estimated 41% of adults had either delayed or avoided medical care (urgent, emergency, and routine care).*
Staying on top of routine appointments and preventive care is extremely important to one’s health. Prompt check-ups can help detect red-flag symptoms and avoid a disease or problem turning into a potentially dangerous condition.**
The good news is that every insurance plan covers preventive screenings at 100% before the deductible. Preventive health services are routine health care procedures (screenings, check-ups, and counseling) that are in place to prevent illness, disease, and other health problems. These preventive health services should fully be utilized in order to help detect illness early.
March is recognized as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month, a time we are reminded of the importance of screening for, and early treatment of, colorectal cancer. Any adult age 45 and older should be screened. For more information on who should be screened for colorectal cancer: https://www.ccalliance.org/screening-prevention/who-should-be-screened-and-when.
You can check with your Primary Care Physician about screening for colorectal cancer, and other essential preventive care. Healthcare.gov also provides lists of preventive services recommended for adults, women, and children.
Don’t delay your healthcare. If you need to enroll in health insurance coverage, contact HCAM’s call center at 410-500-4710 to speak with a navigator. A special enrollment period is open through May 15th. Find more information about HCAM’s Connector program and enrolling in health insurance: https://www.healthcareaccessmaryland.org/how-we-help/health-insurance/