Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
In Spite Of Health Care Law, Patients May Still Pay For Preventive Care
Minnesota Public Radio: In principal, the new federal healthcare law "requires insurers to cover preventive care - including colonoscopies, mammograms and immunizations at no cost to the patient - no co-pays, no deductibles." The aim is to encourage people to get preventive care before they develop conditions that are more costly to treat, and while "Medicare will begin covering these tests 100 percent on January 1st ... for other plans there are myriad exceptions. ... Some may still be on the hook for co-pays and there are exemptions under the new law for health plans that were in place before health reform took effect." Patients may become liable for co-pays "if screenings effectively become more involved," warned a member of the American Cancer Society. Robert Zirkelbach spokesman for trade group America's Health Insurance Plans said "health providers can also trigger out-of-pocket costs by the way they bill for these procedures and said the issue is a big gray zone." Meanwhile, "[c]onsumer advocates say patients shouldn't assume they'll enjoy these new benefits right away but should first check with their doctors and their insurer" (Stawicki, 12/1).
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.