I have to admit, I usually think of my doctor only when I make an appointment for various aches, pains, and symptoms: appointments to check for strep throat or a sports injury or an earache. If I’m feeling fine, I don’t think about my doctor much at all. But I need to change my mindset, because I’ve been doing it wrong all these years.
Just like you take your car in for annual service visits, you should visit your doctor for annual wellness and preventive services appointments. And the best part about these “service trips” to your doctor? Most health plans must cover a set of preventive services, such as immunizations and screenings, at no additional cost to you.
This means if you have a plan from the health insurance Marketplace, or some off-Marketplace plans, you won’t be charged a copayment or coinsurance, even if you haven’t’ met your yearly deductible. However, this only applies if you’re using an in-network provider.
Covered preventive services and screenings include:
- 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 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 for adult—doses, recommended ages, and recommended populations vary (hepatitis A/B, herpes zoster, HPV, flu, measles/mumps/rubella, meningococcal, pneumococcal, tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis, varicella)
- Obesity screening and counseling for adults
- Sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention counseling for adults at higher risk
- Syphilis screening for adults at higher risk
- Tobacco use screening for all adults and cessation interventions for tobacco users
But that’s not all. Did you know under the Affordable Care Act there are women’s preventive services that are covered with no cost-sharing? These women’s services include, but are not limited to:
- Well-woman visits
- Screening for gestational diabetes
- HPV testing
- Counseling for sexually transmitted disease
- Counseling and screening for HIV
- Contraceptive methods and counseling*
- Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling
- Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic abuse
So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of these great, FREE preventive care services with your in-network provider. Call and schedule an appointment today!
*Guidelines concerning contraceptive methods and counseling may not apply to women who are participants or beneficiaries in group health plans sponsored by religious employers. For additional information, click here.