Rep. Wasserman Schultz Praises Free Preventive Care Benefits From Health Care Reform
Washington, DC – Rep. Wasserman Schultz today applauded new regulations issued by the Obama Administration that make prevention affordable by requiring new health plans to cover preventive services without charge to the patient. The regulations, based off of provisions in the Affordable Care Act, will keep Americans healthier while helping to save money over the long term.
“As a survivor of breast cancer, I know how important preventative care is,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. “I was fortunate to have insurance that allowed me to check out the small lump I found. But countless women have come up to me since my announcement to say that they haven’t had a mammogram in years because they don’t have health insurance. Thankfully, with the new law in place, we can put an end to this.”
Americans who enroll in a new health plan on or after September 23, 2010, will have access to preventive services without being charged a deductible, copayment or coinsurance. Services such as cancer screenings, checkups, flu shots, mammograms, and immunizations will now be free for everyone with insurance.
Next year, an estimated 41 million Americans will benefit from these new prevention provisions – 31 million in new employer plans and 10 million in new individual plans. By 2013, an estimated 88 million Americans will benefit from the provisions – 78 million in new employer plans and 10 million in new individual plans.
Comprehensive preventive care can save billions of dollars and thousands of lives. There are 69 million workers reporting missed days due to illness each year, which reduces economic output in this country by $260 billion per year. Every dollar spent on immunizations could save $5.30 on direct health care costs. However, the costs of these services are often prohibitive, and Americans currently use preventive services at only half the recommended rate.
“If many Republicans had gotten things their way, we wouldn’t have preventative care now,” Said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. “Their proposed ‘alternative’ bill—and their idea of repealing the Affordable Care Act—would take preventative care away from America’s families. Preventative care is a vital step forward for all Americans. We can’t afford to move backwards.
Depending on your age and health risks, the types of preventive services that will be available without a deductible, co-pay or co-insurance under these new provisions include:
- Blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol tests;
- Many cancer screenings;
- Routine vaccines for diseases such as measles, polio, or meningitis;
- Flu and pneumonia shots;
- Counseling, screening and vaccines for healthy pregnancies; and
- Regular well-baby and well-child visits, from birth to age 21.