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Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

At-a-Glance: Free Preventive Care for Adults

Starting in January 2014, all non-grandfathered health plans will provide the following preventive care services at no cost to you at the time of the visit. That means you don't have to pay any copays, coinsurance, or deductibles to get this care.

If you have a grandfathered health plan, which means it existed before March 2010, it does not have to provide these services for free. However, some grandfathered health plans are choosing to cover them at no cost. Look for the services on this list on your plan's summary of benefits to see if they're free.

Your age, gender, and health status can affect the types of preventive services covered for you.

You can also use this list to track the care you receive.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Test for Men

What It Does: Uses an ultrasound to look for bulging in the main artery in the abdomen, called the aorta. If an aneurysm gets too large, it can burst and lead to death.

How Often: One time for men ages 65 to 75 who have smoked at any time of their lives. The preventive health guidelines don't recommend a screening for women or for men who have never smoked.

Alcohol Misuse Screening Test and Counseling

What It Does: Looks for drinking problems in adults 18 and older by asking a series of questions. If you have trouble controlling the amount of alcohol you drink, you'll also receive free, brief behavioral counseling to help you cut back or quit drinking alcohol.

How Often: At your physical exam each year.

Evaluate Need for Preventive Aspirin

What It Does: A small daily dose of aspirin can help prevent heart disease and stroke in certain people.

How Often: If you're a man between the ages of 45 and 79 or a woman between the ages of 55 and 79, ask your doctor about the benefits of aspirin for you at your physical exam each year.  

Blood Pressure Test

What It Does: Checks for high blood pressure in adults age 18 and older, which increases the risk for heart disease and strokes.

How Often: Every two years if your blood pressure is lower than 120/80. Every year if your blood pressure is higher than 120/80.

Cholesterol Test

What It Does: Measures levels of cholesterol in your blood to evaluate your risk of developing heart disease and having a stroke. For the test, you give a small sample of blood, preferably after fasting for about 12 hours.

How Often: Every 5 years for adults age 20 and older.

Colorectal Cancer Test

What It Does: Your doctor has several ways to check you for colon and rectal cancer. Some tests, such as the fecal occult blood test (FOBT), check for blood in your stool. Other tests, such as a colonoscopy, look for abnormal growths in your colon and rectum.

How Often: After age 50 and until age 75, your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy every 10 years. Other options are a yearly FOBT or a sigmoidoscopy every 5 years. If you have a family history of colon or rectal cancer or if your doctor says you have a higher risk for another reason, you may need to be checked more frequently.

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