Back to School and You

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. This month we're focusing on preventive benefits for both children and adults.

Preventive Benefits for Children

Screenings and immunizations

Visual screening
Every years from age 3 through 6; and every 2 years until age 18
Hearing screening
At birth; every year from age 4 through 6; and every 2 years until age 15
Wellness exam
At birth; and every year through 18
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis (DTaP)
  • Influenza Type B (Hib)
  • Polio (IPV)
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV)
  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR)
  • Chicken Pox (Varicella)
  • Influenza
  • Rotavirus
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Too many books

Lighten their load

A backpack loaded with a day's worth of books and gear can be a heavy burden for your child. Before you start packing: experts recommend a child should not carry a backpack weighing more than 15% to 20% of their body weight.

  • Always use both shoulder straps
  • Let kids figure out where it fits most comfortably, but try to tighten the straps so the pack is close to the body but doesn't pull on the shoulders
  • Distribute the load throughout all the different compartments to even out the weight
  • If your child has a locker, encourage him to drop his stuff off for the day so he doesn't carry around extra weight

Screenings for All Adults

Coverage varies by age and risk. See plan booklet for more details.

Physical exams
1 time every year, age 19 and older
Lipid panel
1 time every 5 years, age 20 and older
Fasting blood glucose
For high-risk patients screenings starting at age 45, 1 time every 3 years. Earlier screening as determined by physician for individuals with risk factors
Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
1 time, age 65 to 75, if you have previously smoked
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV and syphilis screening
Everybody loves a good screening
Bone mineral density screening
1 time every 2 years for women over age 65 and men over age 70
Colorectal cancer screening
Age 50 and over, coverage varies per type of test
  • Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis (Td/Tdap)
  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR)
  • Pneumococcal
  • Influenza
  • Chicken Pox (Varicella)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Meningococcal
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Shingles (Zoster)

Men-only screenings

Prostate cancer screening: 1 time per year Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) and/or exam, age 50 and older

Women-only screenings

Pelvic/breast exam
1 time per year
1 time per year, age 40 and older if recommended by a physician
BRCA mutation
1 time as recommended by physician
Breast MRI
1 time per year if BRCA positive or immediate family of BRCA carrier but untested
Pap test
1 time every 1 to 3 years, age 21 and over

Back to School and You info graphic
Illustrated by Mitchell Watley

Sources: WEBMB,

Top of page