The recent implementation of the Affordable Care Act has changed the way that most insurance companies offer preventive services such as immunizations, screenings, and counseling. All Marketplace plans, as well as many off-exchange plans, offer a list of preventive services without charging a copay or coinsurance; this is true even if you have not met your deductible when you’re using a network provider. We’ll explain some of these benefits and how you can learn more and take advantage of them.
The basic idea behind free preventive services is simply: if more illnesses are caught and treated or managed early on, it can save time and money for everyone and generally lessen the stress on the healthcare system as a whole. An important part of this is plan is screenings that catch early indicators of potential health issues. Once issues have been identified, individuals have a better opportunity to manage their health in order to possibly prevent health problems from developing later in life.
Below, you will find a description of just a few preventive care services that are covered by the Marketplace plans. Remember to always contact your local licensed insurance agent with HealthMarkets Insurance Agency if you have questions or are interested in learning more about all of the preventive care services that you might be able to benefit from under the ACA (also known as Obamacare).
Obesity Screening and Counseling (for all adults)
Screening is an important part of obesity prevention. It can predict risk factors to help an individual prepare for obstacles they might face. Once these are identified, Diet counselors can suggest ways to lower calorie intake, or exercises to help burn more calories. And while there are hundreds of healthy diets, a Diet Counselor can suggest a diet tailored to an individual’s medical background and family history.
Blood Pressure Screening (for all adults)
A blood pressure screening, or hypertension screening, will tell you if you currently have high blood pressure or are at risk of developing it. This is extremely important, as hypertension is related to heart disease, the number one cause of death in the United States.
Cholesterol Screening (for adults of certain ages or at higher risk)
High cholesterol is one of the leading causes of heart disease and heart attacks, and about one in every six Americans has it. Cholesterol builds up in veins and arteries, clogging the pathways of the circulatory system and heart. While everyone should have their cholesterol checked, men over age 35 and both men and women with risk factors for heart disease are particularly at risk and should be screened regularly.
Diabetes (Type II) Screening (for adults with high blood pressure)
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disabilities and death in the United States. If not kept under control, diabetes can cause serious health problems such as blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke. Every American who might be at risk should be tested since it can be different depending on your gender or age. Be sure to speak with your doctor about any genetic and health risk factors you might be facing to see if you should be screened.
New services and coverage under the ACA can be confusing at times, but HealthMarkets is here to help. Contact your local HealthMarkets agent if you have questions about preventive services you might be eligible for.
For more information on preventive care benefits visit: https://www.healthcare.gov/what-are-my-preventive-care-benefits/#part=1