Keeping Healthy with Screenings and Vaccinations

Getting vaccinated can protect you, your child and other members of the community from contagious diseases. Health screenings check for signs of disease before you have any symptoms. Seeing a doctor regularly helps make sure your family is safe and stays healthy.

Wellness visits, screenings and vaccinations are covered as part of your benefits.

View our guidelines to good health for a list of important screenings and exams:

You can talk to your doctor about important screenings and vaccinations during your wellness visit. An annual wellness visit is a good time to discuss which preventive services1 you need. A preventive service may be a screening, vaccination or advice from your doctor. Preventive services can detect or help prevent illness and health problems.

Earn a reward for childhood vaccines

Protect your baby from potentially serious diseases before their second birthday and earn a $25 reward. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine schedule helps make sure your baby is protected at the right time. The vaccine schedule is based on how your child’s immune system responds to vaccines and how likely your baby is to be exposed to a disease.

Schedule well-child visits to help keep your baby up to date on their vaccines. Babies need to see their pediatrician for vaccines at months 1 to 2, 4, 6 and 12 to 23. Vaccines can protect your baby against chickenpox, polio, measles, whooping cough, blood infections and more.

You can earn a $25 reward for completing the recommended vaccines before your child turns two years old. Allow six to eight weeks to receive your reward. Certain restrictions may apply and are subject to eligibility.

Why well-child visits matter more than you might think

Taking your baby to see a doctor is important when he or she is sick. But going to regular well-child visits can be just as important. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends well-child visits at one week, 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 24 and 30 months.

It's important to get at least six well-child visits by the time your child turns 15 months old and at least two additional visits between 15 and 30 months old. Think of them as checkups for your child's growth and learning. The pediatrician will look at how your child is developing in several key areas: physical, emotional and social. The goal is to make sure things are going as expected. You will have a chance to share any concerns you have.

What to expect
Well-child visits from birth to 30 months old include:

  • Measurements to see how much your child has grown since the last visit
  • Physical exam to check your child's health from head to toe
  • Screenings for hearing and vision problems, lead exposure and more
  • Vaccines to protect your child from several serious illnesses

You and your child's pediatrician might also discuss:

  • Feeding your child
  • Keeping your child safe at home and in the car
  • Supporting your child's speech and learning
  • Creating bedtime routines

How you can help
You play a key role at well-child visits. Share information about what your child is doing at home. Go ahead — brag about the big milestones. Be open about any challenges that come up.

You may want to write down your top three to five questions before the visit. That way, you won't forget to ask them. Your child's pediatrician can be a great resource for helpful advice.

Older kids and teens
As your child grows older, well-child visits are spaced further apart. But they're still very important. One helpful part of the visits is called anticipatory guidance. This involves you, your child and your child's pediatrician talking about key issues that may come up soon. The issues are geared to your child's age. Examples are bike helmets, time limits for electronic devices and not smoking.

Your child's pediatrician will suggest tips and tools for dealing with these issues. Feel free to ask questions and talk about your concerns. This helps the pediatrician give the best advice for your family's needs.

Why vaccinations are important

Vaccinations play a vital role in personal health and wellness.

They’re important to your community
Vaccinations help stop contagious diseases from spreading to others in your area. If most of the community is immunized, it’s harder for a contagious disease to spread.

They’re important for your health
Staying up to date on your vaccinations helps keep you healthy so you can focus more on your work, friends and family.

They're important for your children's health
Vaccinations are an important part of helping to ensure your child stays healthy through his or her developmental years.

Schools require your child to have certain vaccinations. Anytime your child first enrolls in a school, you'll be asked for his or her vaccine records. This could happen when your child starts kindergarten or seventh grade, or when your child first enrolls in a new school district.

Vaccines help stop disease from spreading. When students don’t get all their vaccines, diseases could start spreading around a school. Knowing school vaccination rules helps ensure your child is ready for school.

Required vaccinations
Michigan students are required to have these vaccines:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (DTaP)
  • Polio
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Meningococcal
  • Varicella (chickenpox)

According to rules established by the state of Michigan (as of Jan 1, 2015), children must have their current vaccines or a certified, nonmedical waiver from their county health department. If they don’t have their vaccines or a waiver, they may not be able to start school.

To get the waiver, a parent or guardian must get information from the health department about the benefits and risks of vaccines. This allows them to make an informed choice and could prompt the health department to issue a waiver. For more information, call your local county health department.

To find out if your child has had all the vaccines he or she needs:

Protecting against COVID-19

COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, is a virus that can spread from person to person by droplets from a sneeze or cough, or direct contact with an infected person. Depending on your risk factors, COVID-19 can cause serious illness.

COVID-19 vaccines can help lower your risk of severe illness or prevent you from getting sick at all. You can get a COVID-19 vaccine or booster at your doctor’s office or pharmacy at no cost. Visit to find a vaccine near you.

If you develop symptoms, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, contact your doctor to ask about testing for COVID-19. You can also get an over-the-counter self-test. Blue Cross Complete covers up to one self-test per day from a Medicaid-enrolled pharmacy. A health care provider, such as a pharmacist or doctor, must prescribe the test. Your pharmacy will fill the test as a prescription.