In past years, insurance companies differed in their coverage of preventive health screening tests, such as cholesterol screening or colonoscopy screening. And those screenings were hardly ever free. Now, however, the Affordable Care Act stipulates that most plans must cover certain preventive services without charging a copayment or coinsurance. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t met your yearly deductible, the screenings are still free.
This benefit was written into the law to encourage the health care system to move toward wellness, early detection and prevention. The screenings, however, must be delivered by a network provider. So, before you schedule a preventive screening test, make sure you are contacting a provider in your plan.
Here’s the list of free preventive services for adults.
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm one-time screening for men of specified ages who have ever smoked
- Alcohol misuse screening and counseling
- Aspirin use to prevent cardiovascular disease for men and women of certain ages
- Blood pressure screening for all adults
- Cholesterol screening for adults of certain ages or who are at higher risk
- Colorectal cancer screening for adults over 50
- Depression screening for adults
- Diabetes (type 2) screening for adults with high blood pressure
- Diet counseling for adults at higher risk for chronic disease
- HIV screening for everyone ages 15 to 65 and other ages at increased risk
- Immunization vaccines based on government guidelines
- Obesity screening and counseling for all adults
- Sexually transmitted infection prevention counseling for adults at higher risk
- Syphilis screening for all adults at higher risk
- Tobacco use screening for all adults and cessation interventions for tobacco users
Additional preventive screenings are available to women, such as mammography and osteoporosis screenings. In addition, special preventive screenings and vaccinations are recommended for children at no charge. These include autism screening, behavioral assessments, hearing screening and hemoglobin screening.
For details, see the Preventive Health Services page on Healthcare.gov.