Women's Health

Sarah Jane Rodriguez

August 27, 2021

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(This article first appeared in the September-October issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

It is important to take an active role in our health, and continue or catch up on healthy choices and preventative screenings. Because of concerns about COVID-19, too many people have put off important, sometimes life-saving preventative care. Women have a variety of options, that when combined, contribute to optimum health. The APWU Health Plan partners with our members to provide education, support and services to all facets of a women’s health.

Preventative Care

Both the APWU High Option and Consumer Driven Option plans cover 100 percent of preventative care for women, as long as you use an in-network provider. Our preventive care benefits are based on uspreventativeservicestaskforce.org recommendations.

In addition to one routine physical exam and one wellwoman exam each year, the plan covers a number of lab tests and screenings to check your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, lipids and more. At your well-woman visit, the doctor may recommend screening for:

  • Cervical Cancer – Screening tests can find cervical cancer early when treatment tends to be more successful. Screenings can also detect abnormal cells that may be pre-cancerous, so they can be treated before the cells turn into cervical cancer. The most important thing you can do to help prevent cervical cancer is to have regular screenings starting at age 21.
  • HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Mammograms – Regular mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early. A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast.
  • Colonoscopy/Cologuard – Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death among adults in the U.S. With proper screening and treatment, if caught earily it is easily treatable.
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis (weakening bones)

Schedule your yearly exam with your doctor so that you can discuss the screenings that are appropriate for your age and lifestyle.

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

To help you feel better and more in control of your emotional wellbeing, the High Option and Consumer Driven Option offers mental health and substance use services. As a member, you can find the confidential support you need to cope with:

  • Stress management
  • Surviving a pandemic
  • Depression
  • Living with a chronic condition
  • Challenges of adoption
  • Spending time as a caregiver
  • Treat substance use disorders


Another step in contributing to optimum health is in the foods we choose to consume. High Option Members’ visits to an in-network registered dietician/nutritionist are free.

Healthy weight decreases the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. The CDC recommends a heart-healthy diet to include:

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Whole Grains
  • Low Fat Diary
  • Reduced Sodium

Special Programs

APWU Health Plan offers programs and support to help with smoking cessation and substance use disorder. The Health Plan also has coverage for healthy pregnancy programs and pregnancy care. Both the High Option and Consumer Driven Option plans offer programs with no additional cost to the member. The Health Plan offers you one-onone time with a nurse, access to our 24-hour nurse line and website, and other healthy extras, all with no out-of-pocket costs. Please visit www.apwuhp.com for more information.

For further information, please go to: womenshealth.gov; cdc.gov; uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.

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