“Movember” Highlights Men’s Health Concerns

movember mens health concerns

Each November, men across the globe observe the Movember awareness initiative by growing mustaches to highlight men’s health issues. Let’s discuss common men’s health concerns and how consumer-directed healthcare accounts can help address them.

Men’s Cancer Concerns

While men share many of the same cancer-related health concerns as women, they also have ones unique to the male reproductive system. After melanoma, prostate cancer is the most common type that men experience. Testicular cancer, although not as common, is also a significant concern. The American Cancer Society estimates over 9,000 new testicular cancer diagnoses in 2023.

The good news is that prostate cancer screenings can help detect the disease early, and men can self-screen testicular cancer at home. Should self-screening uncover a concern, a doctor can conduct further testing. They may use ultrasounds and other imaging tests, blood tests, or surgery.

Most health plans cover screening procedures for these diseases. If not, or if there is a cost-sharing requirement, you can use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) to cover the out-of-pocket expense. In some cases, Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) may also help pay the difference.

Men’s Snoring and Sleep Apnea Concerns

While sleep is essential for all, men have some unique and significant sleep-related health concerns. According to the Mayo Clinic, snoring is more prevalent in men and may be linked to sleep apnea. Risk factors include excess weight, alcohol consumption, and poor sleep habits. Sleep apnea testing, CPAP equipment, prescriptions, and breathing strips qualify for payment with FSA, HSA, and some HRA plans.

Men’s Sexual and Reproductive Concerns

Some men face reproductive system health concerns, including fertility issues, sexual dysfunction, or sexually transmitted diseases. Fortunately, FSA, HSA, and some HRA accounts can help cover the cost of screenings, diagnostic testing, treatments, and OTC preventive care products.

Men’s Healthy Aging

Men age faster than women. By their 50s, male bodies are as much as four biological years older than the bodies of women at the same age. To help combat the effects of aging, the Cleveland Clinic recommends the following for people over age 50 (men and women alike):

  • Maintain a healthy diet and weight 
  • Get (or stay) active
  • Get enough sleep
  • Control addictive behaviors like smoking and drinking
  • Get routine health screenings
  • Get the shingles vaccination and annual flu vaccinations

Most traditional health plans cover screenings and vaccinations. Some may assist with treatment for excessive consumption of alcohol or tobacco. If yours doesn’t, FSA and HSA accounts may pay for smoking cessation, alcohol treatment, prescriptions, and OTC products such as nicotine patches and gum.

As we age, eye care becomes even more important to monitor. In addition to general eye exams, men should receive screenings for glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts. Your FSA or HSA account can help pay for eye exams, eyeglasses, prescription sunglasses, contact lenses, saline solution, and even LASIK or cataract surgery.

Finally, ask if your employer offers lifestyle spending accounts (LSAs). This relatively new benefit can help you access helpful products and services not covered by insurance. For example, these accounts may pay for physical fitness equipment, gym facilities, yoga classes, and meditation apps.

What’s the bottom line?

Whether you grow a mustache for Movember or not, remember to address your healthcare needs this month and every month. Use your FSA, HSA, HRA, and Lifestyle Spending Accounts to help cover any out-of-pocket preventive or medical treatment costs.

DataPath Administrative Services has provided Arkansas employers comprehensive third-party employee benefits administration and compliance services since 1996. Please enter your email (above right) to receive notifications about new blog articles as they are published.