The healthcare industry in the United States can be a confusing quagmire of misinformation and bureaucracy. Quite often, it is difficult to figure out exactly what services are available and how much they cost. However, even though most people do not know where to search, they are at least aware that they should be doing what they can to improve their health and wellness. Here are three low-cost healthcare services that you should take advantage of to improve your health.

Preventative Services

Legally, health insurance plans are required to cover the costs of preventive care. According to Life Wise, the most important preventive service is your free annual physical check-up. Additional services can include screenings for type II diabetes, blood pressure, immunizations, certain types of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. There are other free screenings, but they differ based on gender and age. These services must be performed during your annual physical check-up in order to qualify as free preventive services. You should be wary if your doctor engages in additional in-depth discussions or procedures, such as vitamin deficiency checks and allergy tests, or discusses previous physical injuries. Your doctor may charge the cost of an office visit if your annual physical check-up strays too far into in-depth consultation about health topics.

Telehealth Services

Telehealth services provide the relative convenience of easier access to medical information and services through remote digital means. Telehealth services bring medical services to those who constantly travel or live in remote or rural areas. Through a patient portal, you would be able to access your medical history, lab results and prescriptions and watch educational videos on how to manage any health conditions. Telehealth services are part of the initiative to provide wider access to healthcare when your physician is not available. According to Carenet, 75 percent of all doctor, urgent care and ER visits can be safely handled via phone or video or are unnecessary.

Mental Health Services

Your mental health should not be overlooked. Mental health services deal with mental health conditions such as ADHD, substance and alcohol abuse, depression, PTSD and eating disorders. According to Health Central, low-cost or free mental health services are available in most communities. Mental health conditions can greatly affect your interactions with your family, friends and community. Although symptoms of mental health conditions are not as obvious as a cough or a fever, they can be just as detrimental. By not acknowledging and treating these issues, they may snowball and become even worse in the future.

Although sorting through healthcare information can be intimidating and bothersome, it is important to be aware of the services that are available to you so that you can take advantage of them as needed. Preventive health services, telehealth services and mental health services can all provide the assistance you need to keep improving your baseline level of health and wellness year after year.

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