Part of healthcare reform includes greater access to preventive care to improve the nation’s health and reduce overall spending by finding and treating diseases sooner. What is preventive care? These are services to prevent people from getting sick and detecting diseases and conditions before they become serious and more expensive to treat. This can range from vaccinations and blood pressure screenings to help in quitting smoking.

New Law Prohibits Cost-Sharing

Healthcare reform prohibits cost-sharing for all preventive care provided within a plan’s network. That means you won’t be charged a copay or coinsurance or need to fulfill your deductible, as long as you use a doctor who is in your insurance plan’s network. Besides providing these services at no cost to you as part of any new plans (health plans developed after the ACA was enacted in March 2010), healthcare reform also improves access to preventive care in several key areas.

Greater Access to Preventive Screening

Screenings are medical tests to spot diseases, conditions or illnesses before they become more serious. New insurance plans, also referred to as non-grandfathered plans or plans developed after the ACA was enacted in March 2010, give everybody access to screenings for conditions like depression, diabetes, cholesterol, cancers, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and many more.

Preventive care for women includes screening for cervical cancer, breast cancer, osteoporosis and a variety of other conditions. Domestic violence screening and counseling is also available. Prostate cancer and other men’s screenings are covered. And, children are covered, too. Health evaluations for newborns, vision tests, screenings for autism and much more are covered when you stay in your insurance plan’s network.

Promotion of Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy lifestyle counseling is also required in new plans. Patients can receive, without additional costs, such as copays or coinsurance, a more formal plan and help from physicians to live healthier lives. Counseling can be targeted to losing weight, eating a healthier diet, quitting smoking and more.

Preventive Care Benefits for Seniors

Seniors can receive free preventive services, such as flu shots and diabetes screenings, without a copay or additional costs.

Seniors are also eligible for annual wellness visits and personal health plans – like a checklist of things to do. Using information from the patient’s health history and checkups, physicians can devise personalized plans to keep patients healthy.

More Information on Preventive Care

Medical Mutual's Healthy Living articles have more details on recommended preventive care for your age and gender.