- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New health insurance policies beginning on or after Sept. 23 must cover _ without charge _ preventive care that’s backed up by the best scientific evidence. Most people will see this benefit, part of the Obama administration’s health care overhaul, starting Jan. 1.

The list includes tests strongly recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent advisory panel that evaluates research.

Of note for men: Screening for prostate cancer isn’t included on the list because its benefits haven’t been conclusively shown by the best research, at least to the high level required by the law.

Of note to women: Those in their 40s and at average risk for breast cancer can get a mammogram every one to two years as part of the free preventive care. That’s in line with American Cancer Society advice. But it’s more generous than the Preventive Services Task Force, which says most women don’t need mammograms in their 40s.

Many employer-based plans won’t be affected by these new requirements if they are "grandfathered" under the health overhaul law. But as those plans make substantial changes they’ll lose their grandfathered status and then have to meet the requirements.

Here are some of the preventive services that many people won’t have to pay for out-of-pocket, according to federal health officials.

For adults:

_Abdominal aortic aneurysm one-time screening for men of certain ages who have ever smoked.

_Alcohol misuse screening and counseling.

_Blood pressure screening.

_Cholesterol screening for adults of certain ages or at higher risk.

_Colorectal cancer screening for adults over 50.

_Depression screening.

_Type 2 diabetes screening for adults with high blood pressure.

_Obesity screening and counseling.

_Diet counseling for adults at higher risk for chronic disease.

_Certain vaccines for adults, such as flu shots.

_Sexually transmitted infection prevention counseling for adults at higher risk.

_Tobacco use screening for all adults and cessation interventions for tobacco users.

_HIV and syphilis screening for adults at higher risk.


For women:

_Anemia screening on a routine basis during pregnancy.

_Bacteriuria urinary tract or other infection screening during pregnancy.

_BRCA counseling about genetic testing for women at higher risk.

_Breast cancer mammograms every one to two years for women over 40.

_Breast cancer chemoprevention counseling for women at higher risk.

_Interventions to support and promote breast feeding.

_Cervical cancer screening for sexually active women.

_Chlamydia screening for younger women and other women at higher risk.

_Folic acid supplements for women who may become pregnant.

_Gonorrhea screening for women at higher risk.

_Hepatitis B screening for pregnant women at their first prenatal visit.

_Osteoporosis screening for women over age 60 depending on risk factors.

_Rh incompatibility screening for all pregnant women and follow-up testing for women at higher risk.

_Expanded counseling for pregnant tobacco users.

_Syphilis screening for pregnant women or other women at increased risk.


For children:

_Alcohol and drug use assessments for adolescents.

_Autism screening for children at 18 and 24 months.

_Behavioral assessments for children of all ages.

_Cervical dysplasia screening for sexually active females.

_Congenital hypothyroidism screening for newborns.

_Developmental screening for children under age 3, and surveillance throughout childhood.

_Dyslipidemia screening for children at higher risk of lipid disorders.

_Fluoride supplements for children without fluoride in their drinking water.

_Gonorrhea preventive medication for the eyes of all newborns.

_Hearing screening for all newborns.

_Height, weight and body mass index measurements.

_Hematocrit or hemoglobin screening.

_Hemoglobinopathies or sickle cell screening for newborns.

_HIV screening for adolescents at higher risk.

_Vaccines for children from birth to age 18.

_Iron supplements for children ages 6 to 12 months at risk for anemia.

_Lead screening for children at risk of exposure.

_Medical history for all children throughout development.

_Obesity screening and counseling.

_Oral health risk assessment for young children.

_Phenylketonuria screening for the genetic disorder in newborns.

_Sexually transmitted infection prevention counseling for adolescents at higher risk.

_Tuberculin testing for children at higher risk.

_Vision screening.




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