The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has overhauled America’s health care system. By now, you’ve probably experienced many of these changes first-hand. What you may not know is that this new legislation is bringing significant changes to your preventive care.
Let’s take a closer look at how the requirements for preventive services are changing under ACA and what that means for you.
Group Health Insurance Benefits
Under ACA, new health plans are required to offer coverage and and eliminate cost-sharing requirements for preventive services. Starting on Sept 23, 2010, if you or any of your family members have enrolled in a new health plan, the plan MUST cover recommended preventive services without charging you a deductible, copay, or coinsurance.
(There is an exception: If your company sponsored a plan before March 23, 2010, then the plan is considered “grandfathered” and is exempt from certain health care reforms, including this one)
What Does This Mean For Me?
Depending on your age and health plan, this legislation means easier access to the following services:
General Health Services
- Routine vaccines for diseases like measles, meningitis, and polio
- Flu and pneumonia shots
- Counseling for health issues like quitting smoking, eating healthy, losing weight, and treating depression
- Screening for conditions like hepatitis B, iron deficiency, bacterial infections, and immune conditions like Rh incompatibility
- Pregnancy-tailored counseling to help mothers quit smoking or avoid alcohol use
- Counseling to support breast-feeding
Heart Disease and Obesity Services
- Blood pressure screening and tests for diabetes and high cholesterol
- Obesity screening and counseling for dietary health and sustained weight loss
- Counseling on daily aspirin use to reduce the risk of stroke
- Annual mammograms for women over 40
- Referrals for genetic counseling and chemoprevention for women at an increased risk
- Colon cancer screening tests for adults over 50
- Regular Pap smear screenings for cervical cancer and HPV vaccine coverage
- Counseling to help individuals quit tobacco products
For a full list of services, visit www.healthcare.gov
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