Screening Tests: FSA Eligibility
What are screening tests?
Screening tests are routine medical tests intended for use on specific demographics based on age, gender, race, genetic history, and upbringing that can be useful in detecting diseases and medical conditions before they are indicated by other symptoms. The purpose of a screening test is to intervene as early as possible when a disease or medical condition can be reasonably anticipated based on certain life conditions and demographics. Men over the age of 40, for example, should have a blood pressure test as a form of screening test because of the increased likelihood that they will have a medical condition or disease related to their blood pressure. Before the age of 40, this is less likely and so screening tests aren't necessary. Women are also recommended to receive blood pressure screening tests at age 40. Cholesterol tests, however, are recommended for men at age 35 and for women at age 45.
Screening tests are recommended for many different types of measurement. They include blood pressure tests, cholesterol tests, colorectal cancer screening, diabetes tests, HIV tests, syphilis tests, bone mineral density tests, mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, and prostate cancer screenings (John Hopkins Medicine).
Screening tests are considered part of preventive health care. They are eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account. Detecting an as-yet undiagnosed medical condition or disease can save lives, stress, and medical expenses because diseases are more easily treated the earlier they are detected. Early detection also generally requires less invasive treatments to resolve.
Screening tests are generally divided into two categories: universal screening and case finding. Universal screening is for all individuals in a certain category such as age or gender or both. Case finding is for smaller groups who are categorized by other factors such as family medical histories, work professions, etc. Work professions that often entail case finding screening tests include coal mining and military service.