As of 2011, further improvement have been made:
New preventative services are offered at no cost to the patient. (Availability depends on what insurance plan you have. These new offerings are in effect for plans created after March 23, 2010). For a list of services covered, download this PDF.
Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP)
The PCIP is designed to hold individuals with pre-existing conditions who have been denied private insurance over until 2014. In 2014, everyone – regardless of pre-existing condition status – will have access to private insurance.
Go to www.picip.gov to determine eligibility and apply today.
- Increased coverage for people aged 65 and up.
- Reduction of the "donut hole" (the Medicare Part D coverage gap) with newly implemented automatic discounts. Seniors on Medicare Part D receive 50% off brand-name drugs and 7% off generics.
- All individuals covered under Medicare get a free annual "wellness" visit (dependent on your doctor accepting Medicare assignments). One visit will be covered per 12-month period. These visits include a full physical, medical history, and preventative tests and screenings.
- Find more information on what you are eligible at: www.healthcare.gov/law/features/65-older/index.html
National Diabetes Prevention Program
Increased funding and resources have been alloted toward community-based diabetes prevention intervention programs. These year long lifestyle programs are designed to reduce the risk of developing diabetes in people at high-risk for type 2 and people with prediabetes. You can find a program at your local Y: www.ymca.net/diabetes-prevention/
Empowering the consumer
A major goal of healthcare reform is to enable consumers to take back control of their healthcare. Search through the insurance options available to you by state at: www.healthcare.gov/.
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As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...