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Jack Cheevers: Preventive services free to those with Medicare

Posted: October 22, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 22, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

In California, the Affordable Care Act – the new health care law – helped 1,327,883 people with original Medicare get at least one preventive service at no cost to them during the first six months of 2012, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today.  This is 45% of those eligible for these services in California.  This figure also includes 109,444 in California who have taken advantage of the Annual Wellness Visit provided by the Affordable Care Act.

Nationwide, over 16 million with original Medicare received at least one preventive service at no cost to them so far in 2012, including 1.35 million who have had an Annual Wellness Visit.  In 2011, 32.5 million people in Medicare received one or more preventive benefits free of charge.

“Millions of Americans are getting cancer screenings, mammograms and other preventive services for free thanks to the health care law,” said Secretary Sebelius.  “These new benefits, made possible through the health care law, are helping people stay healthy by giving them the tools they need to prevent health problems before they happen.”

Prior to 2011, people with Medicare faced cost-sharing for many preventive benefits such as cancer screenings.  Through the Affordable Care Act, preventive benefits are offered free of charge to beneficiaries, with no deductible or co-pay, so that cost is no longer a barrier for seniors who want to stay healthy and treat problems early.

The law also added an important new service for people with Medicare — an Annual Wellness Visit with the doctor of their choice— at no cost to beneficiaries.

For more information on Medicare-covered preventive services, please visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/65-older/medicare-preventive-services/index.html

To learn what screenings, vaccinations and other preventive services doctors recommend for you and those you care about, please visit the myhealthfinder tool at www.healthfinder.gov

Jack Cheevers is the Public Information Officer, Region IX, U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 90 Seventh St., Suite 5-300 (5W), San Francisco, CA  94602. 415-744-3723

Do you know someone who has been denied health insurance due to a pre-existing condition? If so, they may be eligible for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. Call toll free 1-866-717-5826 (TTY 1-866-561-1604) or visit www.pcip.gov and click on “find your state” to learn more.

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