Health Insurers Offer Free Preventative Care

The Affordable Care Act made a lot of changes in the health insurance industry when it was passed by President Obama and the rest of the government agencies.  One big change that has been measured over the past two years is the number of people who have gotten free preventative care because of the new health care law.  Providence Business News’ Richard Asinof discussed these recently released statistics in the article “many with health insurance received free preventative care under Affordable Care Act.”  These are people who have health insurance from private plans and were able to get care like flu shots and mammograms for free after the health care changes.

U.S. Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced last week that 105 million Americans received some type of free treatment in 2011 and 2012.  Around 71 million of those people have some type of private health insurance, while the other 34 million or so participate in Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans.  The reason that this three year old health care law made the change to require free preventative services such as yearly wellness check-ups is to stress the importance of taking care of yourself.  By offering certain care for free under health insurance plans, the idea is that money will be saved overall when Americans don’t get sick as often and don’t get preventable diseases like diabetes.

Some Americans were making the tough choice between paying their co-pay for wellness visits or flu shots and buying gas for their car or putting groceries on the table.  With free preventative health care services, Americans don’t have to put their health and wellness on hold during these financially tough times.  Sebelius says that the changes from the Affordable Care Act are a huge contributing factor to the lowest growth in health care costs over the past five decades.  While health insurance companies and employers may be shelling out more money now to offer these free services, in the long run they will save money as fewer Americans get diseases that could have been prevented with routine care.

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