Well-Child Visits: What Health Reform Covers
Your children need regular preventive care from a doctor, sometimes called wellness visits or well-child visits. These checkups may include blood tests, height and weight measurements, and vaccines and will help track and protect your child’s health as he or she grows into an adult.
- Regular checkups from birth through age 18
- Scheduled immunizations
- Screenings for childhood diseases
You do not have to pay a copay for this care because it is preventive care and is covered under most, but not all, insurance plans. If your plan existed prior to 2010 when health care reform was passed and has not made significant changes, it may be “grandfathered” and not require to provide free preventive care. Check with your insurance company or employer to find out if you’re in a grandfathered health plan.
Your children will do best if you make sure they get well-child visits on a regular basis. This should start even before they're born. As a mom-to-be, you are entitled to prenatal visits. That gives you a chance to talk to a doctor about breastfeeding, child safety, and newborn care.
Well-child visits should follow this schedule:
- Right after your baby is born
- At 1 week old
- At 1 month old
- At 2 months old
- At 4 months old
- Every three months from 6 months old to 18 months old
- At 2 years old and 2 1/2 years old
- Every year from 3 years old until age 18
These visits for preventive care can be separate from other appointments.
Well-Child Checkups: Birth to Age 2
At every checkup, your child's doctor will look mostly for the same things:
- Your baby's growth by measuring her head, weight, and height
- Your baby's nourishment by talking about your baby's eating habits
- Your baby's physical development and movement
- Your baby's language development by listening to the sounds she makes and how she echoes sounds
- Your baby's socialization by talking with you about how she responds to you and to other people she comes in contact with
- Your baby's safety at home, away from home, and in the car
- Needed immunizations