admin - July 20, 2010
The new health care reform law will allow many consumers to get certain preventive services with no out-of-pocket cost.
But many screenings you think would be covered, such as the vascular screenings Life Line Screening offers, will not be covered under this law, so it is important to know what services are allowed and what you will still need to obtain for yourself.
Screenings covered will vary depending on your gender, age and risk factors but will include:
- Immunizations for children and adults, if those shots have been approved by the CDC
- Colorectal cancer screening for adults over age 50
- HIV screening
- Depression screening
- Bone density for women aged 65 and over
- Hepatitis B and tobacco counseling for pregnant women
- Childhood vision and hearing screenings
- Blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol tests
- Smoking cessation and obesity/weight loss counseling
Mammograms will also be covered. Last year, you may remember that there was a great deal of controversy around mammograms when a government task force changed the recommendations and said that women between 40 and 50 do not need regular mammograms. This caused an uproar among cancer groups, patient groups and doctors. Lawmakers got around this by inserting a provision into the new law that covers mammograms for women older than 40.
Not all health plans need to abide by these new rules. Only plans beginning after September 23rd are required to provide the no-cost screenings, or existing plans that have altered their structure considerably. Plans that do not change are “grandfathered” in and are not required to offer the free screenings.
Most health care reform changes will not be fully implemented for several years. In the meantime, talk to your doctor and family about what is what right for you, what is available for you under your plan, and consider that not all services will suddenly be available for free. Your best bet is still to evaluate what screenings you need based on your health and risk factors and make decisions that feel right for you.
And, of course, Life Line Screening will still be here for you, offering convenient, affordable preventive screenings that have helped millions of people take control of their health since 1993.
3 Comments so far