Did You Know This Free Preventive Care Is Included in Your Health Plan?
A huge benefit of Obamacare health plans is that they include an abundance of free preventive care services. Unfortunately, many people don’t take full advantage of these benefits. Lack of knowledge is the biggest reason people don’t use their preventive care benefits. Some insured individuals don’t understand which medical services are considered “preventive” and others don’t realize these services are completely free to use. You don’t need to meet your deductible or out-of-pocket limits first. There’s no co-pay. There’s no reason not to take advantage of free medical care!
What Is Preventive Care?
Preventive care refers to medical services and tests designed to prevent illness and disease or manage ongoing health issues. Preventive care tests and doctor visits are not scheduled as a result of symptoms. Instead, they’re scheduled to identify problems before symptoms arise. Preventive care allows you to be proactive about your healthcare.
Preventive Care Limitations
Even though a test or service is considered preventive care, sometimes it will be free only if you meet certain requirements. Many tests have frequency limitations, such as one free test or checkup every year, five years, etc. If you request a test or doctor visit because you’re experiencing symptoms, the visit or test may be deemed diagnostic rather than preventive. Always ask your doctor whether recommended visits or tests will be covered under your preventive care insurance benefits before scheduling them.
Preventive Care Checklist for All Adults
Men and women: Get the biggest bang for your insurance premium bucks by taking advantage of these free preventive-care opportunities under your plan. If your spouse is on your plan, why not book him or her an appointment at the same time you’re booking yours? These preventive care benefits are completely free, but if you don’t use them you’ll lose them.
Tobacco and alcohol addiction counseling
Preventive colonoscopies (for adults 50 and older)
Type 2 diabetes screening
Vaccinations and immunizations
Preventive Care Checklist for Women
Women have unique needs, and your preventive care insurance is designed to ensure that you don’t avoid taking care of yourself because you can’t afford it. Women: The following services are completely free under your insurance plan:
Breastfeeding support and counseling
Domestic abuse screening and counseling
Mammograms (for those over 40)
Annual well-woman exam
Preventive Care Checklist for Children
Early intervention leads to better outcomes in children with health problems. These free services are designed to keep children healthy and identify any anomalies that should be investigated further:
Autism spectrum screening (for toddlers between 18 and 24 months old.)
Newborn hearing screening
Blood pressure screening
The aforementioned checklists aren’t comprehensive. There are many other benefits available under your plan – some are even mandated by law. Your specific insurance policy may also offer additional free benefits. Review your policy so you can make sure you take advantage of all the free benefits it offers. If you ever have a question about your benefits or whether a service is considered preventive (and should be free), call us at (877) 843-4256. We’re here to make sure you get great insurance and know exactly what you’re entitled to under your plan.
The Pinnacle of Preventive Care: The Physical Exam
For men, women, and children, an annual physical is the most common example of preventative care. The term “physical exam” doesn’t really tell you much about what to expect when you arrive for your visit. Knowledge is power (and can significantly alleviate anxiety.) Read on so we can answer your most pressing questions!
What Happens During A Physical Exam?
A physical exam is your opportunity to visit a primary-care doctor to discuss your overall health and well-being. A physical exam serves several purposes, including screening for diseases, assessing your risk of future medical problems, encouraging a healthy lifestyle, updating vaccinations, and increasing your comfort and familiarity with your primary-care doctor. When you have a relationship with your doctor, you’ll be more likely to make an appointment if you become ill or develop troubling symptoms.
Most physical exams have three components:
Vitals check. The doctor or a nurse will check your blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, temperature, and weight.
Comprehensive examination. This is the main part of the physical exam. Your doctor will evaluate your heart, lung, head and neck, abdomen, neurological function, skin, and extremities. He or she will conduct a manual exam, and also use tools like a stethoscope, an otoscope (to look inside your ears, nose, and throat), and a plexor (the small hammer used to test your reflexes).
Labs. Depending on your age and health history, the doctor may order laboratory tests. This may require you to submit a urine specimen or have a small amount of blood drawn.
Is A Physical Exam Really Free?
If you visit an in-network physician covered by your plan (we can help you find one) a physical exam is usually completely free. Inform you physician and his or her staff that you want only free preventative care services. During the physical, if your doctor identifies issues that require additional treatment, and you consent, you may be charged for treatment.
After your physical, your physician’s staff will bill your insurance for the preventive-care services rendered. BHI cannot control physician billing practices. However, our support team is always happy to help if you receive a bill you don’t think you should have received. Consider us your most powerful healthcare ally, and call us at (877) 843-4256 whenever you need help.