The Affordable Care Act open enrollment period runs every year from 1st Nov to 15th December and individuals should make sure that they and their dependent have the essential protection they need. The main objective of the Affordable Care Act is the certainty that prevention is better than cure. The ACA ensures that any marketplace health plan should include Preventive Care Services without consideration of co-payment or coinsurance. Health insurance plans, whether bought on federal, state or private exchange, are required to include Preventive care services.
About Preventive Care Services
Preventive care services comprise of any healthcare service that reduces the risk of chronic or long-term conditions. Marketplace health insurance plans provide individuals with free access to doctor visits for annual check-ups, well-woman appointments, and dental cleanings. Even some of the medicines are also considered preventive such as immunizations, contraception, and allergic conditions. Preventive care services also include screenings and tests for skin cancer, colonic conditions, and cholesterol levels. However, individuals need to keep in mind that these services are free only if these are delivered by healthcare providers included in their plan’s network.
The Need for Preventive Care Services
All health insurance plans under the federal law are required to cover specific preventive care services like screenings and counseling for some disease, and vaccinations. To provide preventive care services were essential for all ACA-plans because it is essential for people to identify and treat health problems before the start of the symptoms or to entirely prevent a sickness. It is not just good for their health but also helps people to save some significant amount of money. Primary prevention like identifying a serious condition and treating it before that start of the symptoms of vaccinating to prevent a disease from occurring is the best option for individuals to have a long and healthy life. Individuals should know that enrolling in an ACA plan might cost them nothing but could save them thousands and will also give them complete peace of mind.
Preventive Care Services Covered for All Adults
As per the federal law health insurance plans are required to cover the specific preventive services that were chosen by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which is an independent team of 16 scientists and medical experts. Based on their recommendation, health plans must cover six basic preventive services for all adults irrespective of their age, sex, plan, risk-level, or cost.
Screening and counseling of following problems are included in the preventive services:
- Alcohol misuse
- Blood pressure
- Tobacco use
- Following Immunizations for adults
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Herpes Zoster
- Human papillomavirus
- Measles, mumps, rubella
- Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis
Preventive Care Services for Selected Groups
Besides screenings and Vaccinations, ACA plans also cover other preventive care services for individuals who are at risk of getting certain medical conditions. For example, smokers and former smokers are at an increased risk for lung cancer, so screening for lung cancer is included for such individuals at no charge. Some of the other such screenings include:
- One time abdominal aortic aneurysm screening for men of specified ages who have ever smoked
- Use of Aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease for men and women of certain ages
- Cholesterol screening for adults of specific ages or adults who are at high risk
- Colorectal cancer screening for adults above 50 years of age
- Type-2 diabetes screening for adults having high blood pressure
- Hepatitis B and C screening
- Lung Cancer screening
- HIV screening
- Sexually transmitted infection prevention
- Syphilis screening