Medical screenings are an excellent way, if not the best way to find and prevent specific diseases. Most health care professionals advocate this type of preventive medicine. In particular, seniors will find medical screenings a pathway to healthy aging.
Happily, there are many no cost or low cost medical screenings available to seniors. Many are paid by Medicare. In addition, free screenings can be found through various organizations in the local or state government. Also, hospitals and even some pharmacies offer various screenings. In particular, in this article, we will look at what is available and how to access them.
Check Local Health Department
The first place to start for general information is your local health department. Next, you can try the county level. Lastly, check the state health department. Inquire if they know of any free screening events in your area. Another good source of information is your local senior center. Additionally, check the hospital in your area to see if they have any free preventive screening events planned.
Check Medical Associations
If screening for a specific disease is needed, check with the national association who’s focus is on that disease. For example, if you are looking for a free diabetes screening, call the American Diabetes Association. Calling 800-342-2383 will give you the local number. Also, cancer screening may be found through the National Cancer Institute (800-422-6237) or the American Cancer Society (800-342-2383).
In addition, there are many more screening programs that are available that may be of interest to many seniors. Below we will outline what is available and how to obtain this service.
Cervical and Breast Cancer
Preventive screenings for cervical and breast cancer are available for women without insurance. Call 800-232-4636, This is the number for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. As a rule, all 50 states participate in this program.
In addition, you may already be aware of National Mammography Day. This falls on the third Friday of October, annually. You can check their website for your local screening location. It is www.nbcam.org. You will need to call and ask for an appointment. Don’t forget to ask if their screenings are at no cost.
Prostrate Cancer Screenings
September of every year is Prostrate Cancer Awareness Month. Many areas across the country offer free or low cost screenings during this time. Generally, the patient must be over 45 years old or considered high risk. A blood test will be administered as well as a rectal exam. A number you can call is 866-477-6788 for more information. Also, try 888-245-9455 for information on mobile units.
Colorectal Cancer Screenings
Screenings for Colo rectal cancer are not as easy to find. However, if you are in need of a screening and are uninsured, you can call 877-427-2111. This number connects you to the Colo-rectal Cancer Coalition. This is the best resource for information on screenings that may be available in your area.
Skin Cancer Screenings
There are a number of resources available for free or low cost skin cancer screenings. Three of them are listed below.
- American Society for Dermatology. 847-956-0900. They offer free screenings during specific months of the year. Call for details.
- Skin Cancer Foundation. 800-754-6490. They operate a Road to Healthy Skin Tour.
- Academy of Dermatology. 888-462-3376. This program will provide a free screening offered by volunteers.
Additionally, the above associations have websites that can be checked for more details on free screenings that they offer.
Kidney Disease Screening
The National Kidney Foundation offers free screenings for those that may be at risk for kidney disease. In particular, World Kidney Day is a day on which screenings may be offered at no cost across the country. Call 800-622-9010 or check their website for more information.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Another great source of free screenings, especially for women, is the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. If you are not insured or even under-insured the CDC is an option. Also, this is a good option for low-income individuals. The free screenings they offer include blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. For more information, they can be contacted at 800-232-4636.
Additional Screening Programs
By doing a little research, you can find additional screening programs available in your area. They operate on both a national and regional level. Below you will find a list of some that may be helpful for those who have vascular issues.
- Legs for life—You will need an appointment for this screening for hardening of the arteries. Contact # is 800-488-7284
- Society for Vascular Surgery—Will help you find a clinic that offers low cost or free screenings. Check their website: www.vascularweb.org
- Wise Woman Program—A program for women aged 40 to 64 who are not insured. Free screening for blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. Contact 800-232-4636
Not all programs are available in all states so use their website or give them a call to check on availability.
Low-Cost And No-Cost Health Care
If you are not insured or have a low income, there are a variety of programs that may assist you. For instance, check with the Health Resources and Services Administration. In short, the HRSA is a federal program that assists low-income individuals with health and dental care.
For the most part, they operate through health centers and you will be charged only what you can afford based on your income. Their website is findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov. In case you want to call, their phone number is: 888-275-4772.
Additionally, you can find free clinics throughout the country by checking freemedicalcamps.com. Otherwise, call the hospital in your area to find out more. Ordinarily, there is very little cost if any at all at these clinics. Interestingly, there are approximately 1000 of these clinics around the country.