There is no second thought that health care costs are spiraling out of control. That makes the health insurance unaffordable for many Americans. This high cost not only affects health of Americans, but also the health of the Nation. Why? If we see various chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, these can be prevented at early stages, but are still responsible for seven of 10 deaths among Americans each year, according to the White House. These diseases account for 75% of the nation’s health spending. Well after a long era, here is some good news for Americans as new insurance rules will provide free preventive health care to patients.
What do you mean by free preventive health care?
According to the new Health care rules, insurance companies will not charge for co-pays or deductible for preventive services and conditions like mammograms, immunizations, colonoscopies etc. However, insurers could still charge consumers for services delivered out of network and for treating conditions identified by screenings.
In some cases, consumers could also be charged if a preventive service is not billed separately from another service, such as an office visit.
- Blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol tests
- Cancer screenings
- Counseling on smoking cessation, weight loss, healthy eating, depression treatments, and reduction of alcohol use
- Vaccines for measles, polio, meningitis, and HPV (human papilloma virus)
- Shots for flu and pneumonia prevention
- Screening, vaccines, and counseling for healthy pregnancies
and well-child visits up to the age of 21, as well as vision and hearing, developmental assessments, and body mass index (BMI) screenings for obesity
- Mammograms for women over age 40
- Pap smears for cervical cancer prevention
- Colon cancer screening tests for adults over age 50
Will everyone be qualified for this benefit?
No. Only people in insurance plans beginning after Sept. 23, 2010 or in existing plans that change substantially will be able to get the discounted preventive services in future. The healthcare law exempts so-called grandfathered plans offered by employers that have not substantially changed since the legislation was signed in March 2010.
This is a great step taken by the government to provide free preventive healthcare. As they say – prevention is better than cure. The preventive healthcare will certainly boost the health of Americans or at the very least catch diseases at early stage and keep them to stay healthy.
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