Millions Of Californians Taking Advantage Of Health Care Reform
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
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.
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.