BATON ROUGE — School will be back in session across Louisiana soon, and it’s a good time to make sure your children are up to date on any shots or health screenings they should have.
Health guidelines recommend children get shots at key ages to protect them from illnesses and infectious diseases. Some of these vaccines are recommended for early childhood, and others are recommended for adolescence or young adulthood. Most day cares, school systems, colleges and universities require proof of vaccination before a child can enroll.
“Vaccination is one of the best preventive health steps we can take for our children, and it’s an ongoing effort,” said Dr. Vindell Washington, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana chief medical officer. “While we have high rates of young children getting their shots on schedule, those numbers start to drop as children get older. Talk to your children’s doctor every year to make sure they’ve gotten the shots they need for their age group.”
Make an appointment with your children’s doctor before the start of a new school year to see if they need any age-appropriate vaccines. The doctor can also check your children to make sure they are meeting health, development and growth milestones for their ages.
Most Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana health plans cover an annual wellness visit for children at low or $0 out-of-pocket cost. Call Blue Cross Customer Service at the number on your member ID card to see how these visits are covered on your health plan and how much it will cost.
If your children got shots or health screenings at community health fairs, school events or anywhere outside of their doctor’s office in the past year, make sure to let the doctor know about this.
Another important part of a back-to-school checkup is letting the doctor screen your children’s Body Mass Index (BMI) to see if they are at risk for being overweight or obese. Louisiana has an unfortunately high rate of childhood obesity, which can put children at greater risk for long-term health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure as they get older.
Blue Cross has joined the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in offering preventive benefits to combat childhood obesity. Depending on a child’s particular needs and health situation, these could include dietitian visits to teach healthy eating habits, regular follow-up screenings and counseling to work on behavior changes toward a healthier lifestyle.
Learn more about the pediatric wellness visits Blue Cross covers.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. We invest both time and money in the communities we serve, supporting the health and wellbeing of Louisianians through more than 200 charitable organizations.
With our subsidiaries, HMO Louisiana and Southern National Life, we provide group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to one out of four Louisiana residents. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana also provides Medicare supplement and Medicare Advantage plans and is a partner in offering the Healthy Blue Medicaid Managed care plan. Louisiana is the only state where we operate, with offices in every major region to serve our customers.
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a tax-paying non-profit health insurer. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.