Monday, January 24. 2011
A provision in last year's health insurance reform bill got rid of copayments for preventative care, according to the Los Angeles Times, and the effect has been to increase access to and use of such services.
The article cites a 2007 report from Partnership for Prevention, which asserts there are five preventative care services which, if more widely used, could save more than 100,000 lives every year. Smoking cessation, flu shots, breast and colon cancer screening, and aspirin for heart disease are all huge lifesavers.
Experts told the paper that there were still loopholes in the coverage of preventative care, and warned that consumers could be charged for going to out-of-network providers or getting non-preventative medical services at the same appointment. There are also some restrictions, meant to make it easier for the most at-risk demographics to have access to screening services.
Beyond simply improving general health by catching potential problems early, preventative care should save health insurance companies money by reducing the need for acute care or emergency room visits farther down the road, other experts point out.
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