Navigating Insurance for Health Screenings by Age and Gender

ByNathan Paulus
Edited byRae Osborn

Updated: December 21, 2023

ByNathan Paulus
Edited byRae Osborn

Updated: December 21, 2023

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

Regular health screenings assist in early detection of potential health issues and often lead to faster and more economical treatments. These screenings are covered by most health insurance plans in their primary coverage. Knowing the specifics of your plan can help you utilize these covered screenings, minimize out-of-pocket expenses and fully leverage your plan's benefits for improved health outcomes.


Long-Term Financial Benefits of Preventive Health Screenings

Although preventive health screenings could come with an upfront cost, their long-term financial benefits are worth considering. Preventive care can lead to less intensive treatments, reduced time off work and improved quality of life by identifying diseases early before they become severe or chronic.


Avoidance of Sudden, Severe Health Expenses

Diseases identified in their early stages often require less intensive – and consequently less costly – treatment, which can help avoid the potential financial stress of sudden, high-cost medical bills.


Health Care Cost Management

Understanding your risk factors through screenings can guide lifestyle changes, reduce long-term health care expenditures and lead to consistent work productivity.


Better Insurance Rates

Some insurance companies offer discounts or better rates for policyholders who regularly complete preventive health screenings, indicating proactive health management.


Extended Health Span

Regular screenings can contribute to a longer, healthier life, potentially reducing long-term health care costs by delaying or preventing age-related medical conditions.


Prevention of Disease Spreading

Certain screenings benefit individuals and the community by preventing the spread of infectious diseases and reducing collective health care costs.

Recommended Health Screenings by Age and Gender

Health requirements differ between men and women across various age groups, underscoring the need for tailored screenings. Knowing which health screenings are appropriate based on gender and age can also aid in developing a more effective financial plan.

Recommended Health Screenings for Men

Below is a table of health screenings for men, categorized by age group, as recommended by MedlinePlus. Consult your health care provider to determine the most suitable screenings for your health needs.


Recommended Health Screenings for Women

The following table outlines health screenings specifically recommended for women, categorized according to different age brackets, following MedlinePlus guidelines. Discuss with your health care professional to customize these screenings based on your health circumstances.


Insurance Coverage for Preventive Care

Since the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) over a decade ago, most health insurance is legally mandated to cover a range of recommended preventive health screenings. This applies to all private plans, whether individual, small group or large group markets, except those classified as "grandfathered" plans. This mandate means these screenings won't require copayments, deductibles or co-insurance. Note that the exact coverage details may vary — always consult with your insurance provider for coverage details.

Non-Grandfathered Private Health Insurance Plans

Under Section 2713 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, non-grandfathered health plans and insurers must provide specific preventive services without cost-sharing. These services include:


Medicare offers a broad spectrum of preventive care options to its beneficiaries. Coverage details can vary depending on factors like the type of Medicare plan and the availability of a participating health care provider.

  • Medicare Part B: Medicare Part B covers an extensive range of preventive services if you meet eligibility rules and guidelines. Note that coverage specifics may depend on the details of your chosen plan.
  • Original Medicare: Original Medicare typically includes most preventive services without charge as long as they are accessed through a participating provider. Services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are fully covered, but some other services might involve a cost-share. Additional fees can be incurred if services are obtained from non-participating or opting-out providers.
  • Medicare Advantage Plans: Under Medicare Advantage Plans, preventive services that Original Medicare covers in full are usually free of charge when visiting an in-network provider. These plans must offer these services without imposing deductibles, copayments or co-insurance following Medicare's eligibility requirements. Certain preventive services not fully covered by Original Medicare may incur charges, especially if you visit out-of-network providers. Ensure the health services you seek are within your insurance network.

Medicaid Expansion Plans

States offering Medicaid expansion plans are mandated to provide comprehensive preventive services coverage to non-elderly individuals whose earnings are up to 133% of the federal poverty level ($16,611 for an individual or $34,247 for a family of 4 in 2019). This means that these plans must cover, without any additional costs to the beneficiary, all the preventive services specified in Section 2713 of the PHS Act, similar to the requirements for non-grandfathered private health insurance plans.

Maximizing Insurance Coverage for Health Screenings

Effectively managing your health insurance coverage can greatly reduce out-of-pocket expenses and yield considerable long-term financial benefits, particularly for preventive health screenings. Here are some practical tips to help you get the most out of your health insurance:


Paying for Health Screenings Without Insurance

Several options are available to help cover the costs of health screenings for those without insurance or with inadequate coverage. Each solution caters to different needs and situations. Here are some alternatives and suggestions to help manage the expenses of health screenings:


Health Savings Account (HSA)

You can utilize an HSA, a tax-advantaged savings account tied to a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), to assist in handling health care expenses. Contributions, withdrawals for qualified medical expenses and interest earnings in HSA are tax-free.


Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

This employer-sponsored plan allows employees to allocate pre-tax dollars to cover qualified medical expenses, including health screenings.


Community Health Clinics

These clinics often provide services on a sliding scale based on income, including basic screenings and preventive care. Use HRSA's health center finder to locate health centers in your area.


Health Fairs

Local health fairs may offer free or low-cost screening opportunities and connect individuals to affordable health care resources in the community.


Direct Negotiation With Health Care Providers

Discuss your financial constraints with doctors or clinics. They might offer lower fees or discounts for upfront payments. Many are open to setting up payment plans for pricier screenings.


Discounted Screening Programs

Many health organizations and local nonprofits offer discounted or even free screenings. Check the eligibility criteria, as some cater to specific income groups or demographics.


Plan and Budget for Essential Screenings

Prioritize essential screenings and allocate funds accordingly. Research and compare costs across various providers to get the best value.

Although these alternatives can provide relief, they are not substitutes for comprehensive health insurance. Plan wisely and consider all your health care needs.

Additional Resources

For further reading on health screenings and financial aid programs, consider exploring the following:

About Nathan Paulus

Nathan Paulus headshot

Nathan Paulus is the Head of Content Marketing at MoneyGeek, with nearly 10 years of experience researching and creating content related to personal finance and financial literacy.

Paulus has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of St. Thomas, Houston. He enjoys helping people from all walks of life build stronger financial foundations.