The Affordable Care Act (ACA) introduced many reforms to the health insurance industry.
It required most Americans to carry health insurance. It also mandated that insurance plans cover a variety of preventative services.
Among these covered services are a variety of tests that can help diagnose heart disease. This disease affects millions of Americans, and it can vary in its severity. Some heart disease patients may only need medication. Others might need surgery to lower risk of heart failure.
Properly monitoring and treating heart disease helps Americans live healthier lives. The ACA provides services that can help diagnose heart disease in multiple patients. These services might include:
- Blood pressure screening
- Cholesterol testing
- Diabetes screening
- Diet counseling
- Obesity screening
- Tobacco use screening
Most insurance holders can get these tests at their doctor's office for no charge.
Conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity can raise the risk of heart disease. Catching these problems early through screening can help you treat the disease before it gets deadly.
It's also important to do what you can to prevent heart disease triggers from presenting themselves in the first place. There are many practical ways to live a healthier life and reduce the risk of cardiac ailments.
- Don't smoke. If you're a smoker, you raise your risk of blood pressure problems, cancer, diabetes and other conditions. Smoking can also contribute to heart disease. There are many ways to quit, and your doctor's office is a great place to get resources for stopping.
- Avoid consuming excessive alcohol. Overexposure to alcohol use can damage both your liver and your heart.
- Stay hydrated with the right liquids. Drinks that are high in sugar or fat content aren't healthy for your heart. Commit to drinking the recommended eight glasses of water every day.
- Keep a balanced diet. We all enjoy the occasional splurge. But, eating foods full of fat, sugars or carbohydrates can damage the heart. Prioritize foods that are high in fiber and protein content. These include nuts, lean meats, greens and fresh fruit.
- Stay active. Being active doesn't mean simply exercising every day. It means living an active lifestyle. Park further away from buildings, or walk to the store instead of driving. Small changes can make a big difference.
- Reduce stress. Reducing stress is great for heart health. Simply taking the time to laugh out loud once a day goes miles towards reducing your stress level.
Taking care of your heart now will help reduce the risk of heart disease down the road. Take advantage of the preventative screenings offered under your health insurance now.
Simpson Financial Group, Inc. can help you with Affordable Care Act enrollment questions. Call us at (978) 222-3939 for a free health insurance quote.