Preventive care costs
While some large employers and a few large insurers had begun to expand employee wellness programs to include health screenings at no additional cost, the out-of-pocket expense for most others kept both insured and uninsured Americans away from preventive care, to the detriment of public health.
All health plans issued after Sept. 23, 2010, must offer a wide array of in-network preventive services and treatments for adults and children, with no out-of-pocket costs such as copays, co-insurance or need to meet a deductible.
"This was one of the first and most immediate benefits that consumers felt as a result of health reform," Corlette says. "For the first time, when they had a mammogram or colonoscopy, instead of being charged a co-payment, they were told, 'Good news: It's free today!'"
Kominski says while consumers like the savings, doctors welcome the first national standard for preventive care, believing it will make a difference.
"We should be investing in things where there is good scientific evidence and not just conventional wisdom that they save money and save lives," Kominski says.