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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

At-a-Glance: Free Preventive Care for Adults

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. If your cholesterol is high, you'll be monitored more frequently.

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.

Depression Screening Test

What It Does: Check for signs of depression in adults by asking a series of questions.

How Often: At your physical exam each year.

Type 2 Diabetes Test

What It Does: Uses one or more small samples of your blood to check for type 2 diabetes. You should be tested if either of these is true:

  • You're age 45 or older.
  • You are overweight, with a BMI of 25 or greater, and you have another risk for diabetes. Other risks for diabetes include having high blood pressure or a family history of diabetes.

How Often: At your physical exam each year.

Nutrition Counseling

What It Does: Helps people at risk for chronic diseases make healthy food choices and lower their risk for health problems related to diet, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Some cancers
  • Bone loss

How Often: At your physical exam each year. The counseling can be from a primary care doctor, nutritionist, dietitian, or other specialist.

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