The new Health Care Reform law adopted by Congress requires insurance companies to provide complete coverage for preventive medicine. This means that your insurer has to pay for annual check-ups and cancer screenings and cannot charge you a copay or deductible. The purpose is to try and discover health problems early which will make the treatment more effective and save money in the long run.
There is a long list of screening procedures which will be completely covered under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. They include screenings for breast cancer, cervical cancer and colon cancer. A mammogram can reveal the early stages of breast cancer and alert doctors before the disease spreads to other parts of the body making treatment much more difficult. A colonoscopy is performed to try and detect cancer of the colon. The procedure is very effective at finding pre-cancerous polyps that can be removed before they become cancerous. A colonoscopy is recommended for everyone over 50.
The new law also requires complete coverage for tests that will determine cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar. Heart disease and stroke are two of the top killers in the United States and identifying people who might be at risk for developing these problems will help them get treatment to avoid a heart attack. In addition to those procedures, the law also states that insurers must cover examinations for things like depression, alcohol abuse and obesity.
The preventive medicine provisions of the health care reform act also include all immunizations for children. This means that shots to prevent measles, mumps and rubella are completely covered by your insurance. The new law also makes sure that all children are screened early for hearing and vision problems that could affect their development. Tests for lead poisoning will be paid for by health insurance plans as well and the law requires that health plans pay for flu shots and tetanus shots.
Under the new law, women get new guarantees that they will not have to pay anything out of pocket for preventive services when they are pregnant. The law spells out that Hepatitis C screening, screening for Syphilis and Anemia screening be included at the first prenatal visits. The law also requires that breast feeding intervention be covered for women who are experiencing problems in this area.
When it comes to kids there are even more procedures and screenings that will now be paid for in full by your insurer in the hopes that you take advantage of them. Immunizations are completely covered along with screening for lead poisoning. The law also requires screening for autism in children at 18 months of age plus at 24 months of age. There are other preventive tests which are also authorized to make sure the child is developing at the proper pace along with routine hearing and vision tests. It is also wise to take advantage of the oral health assessment that the law allows for, so you can be sure your child has no problems in this area.