Free preventiative screenings (Before you have to meet your health insurance deductible)

August 23, 2018

I have a wonderful family doctor and she just ordered a bunch of preventative tests for me. I asked if they would be covered before my deductible (its high) and she said she really did not know. I called my insurance carrier and they said I should ask my doctor. Does anyone know what is on the list of services that went into effect with the Affordable Care Act? I did some research, and here is a partial list. I am not including children and pregnant women because their list is a lot longer. There are a lot of screening tests including:

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: one-time screening for men of specified ages who have ever smoked

Alcohol Misuse: Screening and counseling

Aspirin: Talk with your doctor about taking aspirin every day (depends on age)

Blood Pressure: Get your blood pressure checked

Cholesterol: Have a cholesterol check if you are an adult of a certain age or at higher risk

Colorectal Cancer: Screening for adults over age 50. Does include periodic colonoscopies

Depression: Talk with your doctor about depression

Diabetes, Type 2: Screening for adults with high blood pressure, and counseling on how to prevent

Diet: Counseling for adults at higher risk for chronic diseases

HIV: Screening for adults at high risk

Immunizations: vaccines for adults (doses, recommended ages, and recommendation populations vary):

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Herpes Zoster (shingles)
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
  • Meningococcal
  • Pneumococcal
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis
  • Varicella (chickenpox)

Obesity: screening and counseling for all adults

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI): prevention counseling

Syphilis: screening for adults at high risk

Tobacco Use: screening for all adults and help quitting (cessation interventions) for tobacco users

Well Women Visits: you should not have to pay for your appointment to get the following ordered/done:

  • Breast Cancer Mammography: screening every 1 to 2 years for women over age 40
  • Cervical Cancer: Exam and PAP smears for sexually active women
  • Chlamydia Infection: Screening for younger women and other women at higher risk
  • Contraception: FDA – Approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, patient education and counseling
  • Gonorrhea: Screening for all women at high risk
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA Test: High risk HPV DNA testing every three years for women with normal cytology results who are 30 or older
  • Osteoporosis: Screening for women over age 60 depending on risk factors

A few notes and disclaimers:

  1. These are preventative screening tests. Once you have been diagnosed with something, a follow-up test does not mean free.
  2. They are only screening tests. If something is found, the test my no longer be “free.”
  3. Your insurance carrier will decide what you have to pay for. If you disagree, you may always file an appeal.
  4. The above list is not comprehensive and there may be exceptions and fine print.