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Millions Of Californians Taking Advantage Of Health Care Reform

Aired 2/15/12 on KPBS News.

More than 9 million Californians got at least one free preventive service in 2011, thanks to health care reform.

— Californians are reaping some of the benefits of health care reform. More than nine million Californians received free preventive care last year.

Under health care reform, insurance plans must cover a wide variety of preventive services free-of-charge. Flu shots, colon cancer screenings, and mammograms are all on the list.

Consumers also don't have to pay for well-baby checkups and routine childhood vaccinations.

Federal health officials estimate more than 9 million Californians got at least one free service last year. That includes nearly 3 million people on Medicare.

Officials point out in 2008, only 43 percent of women on Medicare had a mammogram. Health officials are hoping more seniors will take advantage of the free services, including an Annual Wellness Visit. That's a new benefit that allows seniors to work with their doctor to develop a personalized prevention plan.

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