Today, Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) applauded the new regulations issued by the Obama Administration to help make prevention affordable by requiring new health plans to cover recommended preventive services at no cost to the patient. The regulations, based on provisions in the Affordable Care Act, will keep Americans healthier and help save money over the long term by increasing access to preventive care.
"We know that many Ohioans don't get the preventive care they need because of the cost and their health suffers because of it. Seven in ten deaths in America result from chronic and often preventable diseases - this is unacceptable," said Rep. Sutton. "Under the Affordable Care Act, free preventive care now will keep many Ohioans healthier and save money in the long run."
Thanks to this reform, 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.
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.
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.
Americans are also beginning to see other benefits from health reform. Seniors affected by the Medicare prescription drug `donut hole' coverage gap are receiving checks to lower their costs, four million small businesses have received notice that they are eligible for a health care tax credit potentially worth tens of thousands of dollars to help them cover their employees, young adults are starting to be allowed to stay on their parents' insurance, insurance companies have stopped their practice of rescissions - or dropping people's coverage when they need it most, and some outrageous premium hikes have been reversed.