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An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Posted on by Karina

The Affordable Care Act signed into law in March recognized that an increased emphasis and attention to prevention was vital to achieve the goal of a healthier America. 7 in 10 Americans die each year as a result of a chronic disease (like diabetes or heart disease) and make up 75% of the nation’s health care costs. These diseases are oven preventable, but many Americans don’t get the preventative care they need. The Affordable Care Act promotes preventive health care and improves the public health to help us all live healthy lives and restrain the growth of health care costs over time.
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Today, the Administration issued regulations implementing provisions of the bill that provide for free preventive care benefits in new plans. Specifically, the regulations will help make prevention affordable and accessible by requiring new health plans to cover recommended preventive services without charging a deductible, copayment or coinsurance. HealthCare.gov explains what this means for you:

The Affordable Care Act will help make wellness and prevention services affordable and accessible to you by requiring health plans to cover preventive services and by eliminating cost-sharing. According to a new regulation released by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Treasury and the Department of Labor, if you or your family enroll in a new health plan on or after September 23, 2010, then that plan will be required to cover recommended preventive services without charging you a copay, co-insurance or deductible.

Depending on your age and health plan type, you may have easier access to such services as:

Blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol tests

Many cancer screenings

Counseling from your health care provider on such topics as quitting smoking, losing weight, eating better, treating depression, and reducing alcohol use

Routine vaccines for diseases such as measles, polio, or meningitis

Flu and pneumonia shots

Counseling, screening and vaccines for healthy pregnancies

Regular well-baby and well-child visits, from birth to age 21

Speaker Pelosi on today’s news:

Today's announcement marks another step forward in our effort to fulfill the fundamental goals of health insurance reform: providing access to affordable care for all Americans and ensuring the health and well-being of every family. With this change, prevention coverage will improve for as many as 41 million Americans next year and as many as 88 million Americans by 2013.

Opening the door to preventive care means vaccines and flu shots for our children, and regular visits to the pediatrician — key building blocks for a lifetime of health. It means women will be able to get counseling, screening, and vaccines for healthy pregnancies, and have easier access to mammograms and a wide range of critical services. And it means greater access to cancer screenings, routine immunizations, and blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol tests for all patients.

Despite the broad benefits tens of millions of Americans will reap from these new rules of the road, Congressional Republicans continue their calls to repeal health insurance reform. As families, seniors, small business owners, young adults, and children begin to realize the benefits of reform, Congressional Republicans stick to the same script: protect the special interests and insurance companies, and say 'no' to progress at every turn. The American people cannot afford this type of leadership. Democrats will keep fighting for Main Street and the middle class.

Learn more from HealthCare.gov»

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