All the Free Health Care You Can Get Without Using Your Own Deductible

If you are delaying a test or a tetanus shot because you think it will cost you a ton, we have good news. Even if you haven’t met your deductible, you still don’t have to pay a cent for the most common preventive care.

Franchises don’t work the way you think

Health insurance franchises work very differently than auto insurance franchises . With a car, you have to shell out a certain amount of money before the insurance works – it’s a simple matter of numbers. So if someone breaks your headlight, you will pay out of pocket for it because calling the insurance company will not benefit you in any way. You are probably hoping that you never have to use auto insurance at all, and if you are a safe driver and very lucky, you may not.

But it’s unrealistic to expect that we will never take advantage of health insurance. Almost everyone needs medical attention, even if it’s just a test. There are two reasons why a treatment, even with a high deductible, is not as expensive as you might think:

  1. The insurance company can usually offer you a lower rate than if you told the provider you would pay in cash. Maybe an office visit costs $ 250, but the negotiated rate is $ 100. You still have to pay $ 100, but the rest of the $ 150 disappears into thin air.
  2. What’s more, the law requires most insurance plans to pay for some preventive care at no cost to you . These are not copays, co-insurance, or deductibles. Virtually free.

Okay, nothing is free, so this is really included in your premium. This means your plan already includes this test, whether you get it or not, so don’t use spending as an excuse to postpone it.

Things you don’t have to pay for

Here’s a partial list of what’s free for you if you get it from an on-net provider . In general, health check-ups are free: adults get one yearly check-up free of charge, plus, as you will see below, care associated with visiting a healthy child or a woman’s yearly gynecological visit is also covered free of charge.

Main caveat: Some insurance plans are considered obsolete and should not offer the benefits listed below for free. (They may still be covered, but that depends on the plan.) Legacy plans are dying out, but 25 percent of people with employer-sponsored health insurance (that is, roughly 11 percent of Americans) still had it in 2015, according to a Kaiser Family survey. Foundation .

The plan, which would otherwise not deprecated, may still be considered obsolete for items marked with an asterisk in the Women’s Health list below. This is because these guidelines were added later, which is why they got their special grandfather date. If you cannot tell on the plan’s website if your plan is out of date or if the care you need is fully covered, call the number on your card and ask.

Here is a list of free services provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (we’ve edited it slightly for clarity):

For kids

  1. Assessment of alcohol and drug use among adolescents
  2. Screening for autism in children 18 and 24 months old
  3. Behavioral assessments
  4. Blood pressure screening
  5. Screening for cervical dysplasia for sexually active women
  6. Screening for congenital hypothyroidism in newborns
  7. Depression Screening for Teens
  8. Development screening of children under 3 years of age and observation throughout childhood
  9. Screening for dyslipidemia in children at increased risk of lipid disorders
  10. Fluoride supplements for children without fluoride in water sources (ages 6 months to 5 years)
  11. Preparations for the prevention of gonorrhea in the eyes of all newborns
  12. Hearing test for all newborns
  13. Measurements of height, weight and body mass index
  14. Hematocrit or hemoglobin screening for children
  15. Hemoglobinopathies or Sickle Cell Screening in Newborns
  16. HIV Screening for High-Risk Adolescents
  17. Immunization vaccines for children from birth to 18 years of age – doses, recommended ages and recommended populations vary:
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Inactivated poliovirus
  • Influenza (flu shot)
  • Measles, mumps, rubella
  • Meningococcal
  • Pneumococcal
  • Rotavirus
  • Chickenpox (chickenpox)
  1. Iron supplements for children aged 6 to 12 months at risk for anemia
  2. Lead screening of children at risk of infection
  3. Medical history for all children throughout development (in other words, part of the visit when you are asked many questions)
  4. Obesity assessment and counseling
  5. Oral health risk assessment in young children (under 10 years of age)
  6. Screening for phenylketonuria (PKU) for this genetic disorder in newborns
  7. Sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention counseling and screening for adolescents at high risk
  8. Tuberculin tests for children at increased risk of tuberculosis.
  9. Eyesight examination for all children

For women

Checked items in this list are new guidelines and some plans are not required to include them (see above).

  1. Regular screening of pregnant women for anemia
  2. Screening for urinary tract bacteriuria or other infections in pregnant women
  3. * Birth control: approved by the Office of sanitary inspection by the Food and Drug Administration contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, as well as training and counseling, with the exception of preparations for abortion.
  4. BRCA Genetic Testing Consultation for High-Risk Women
  5. Breast cancer mammography every 1-2 years for women over 40.
  6. Breast Cancer Chemoprophylaxis Consultation for High-Risk Women
  7. * Comprehensive breastfeeding support and advice from trained providers, and access to feeding supplies for pregnant and lactating women
  8. Cervical cancer screening for sexually active women
  9. Chlamydia screening for young women and other women at high risk
  10. * Assessment and counseling on domestic and interpersonal violence
  11. Folic acid supplements for women who may become pregnant
  12. * Screening for gestational diabetes for women 24-28 weeks pregnant and women at high risk of developing gestational diabetes
  13. Screening for gonorrhea for all women at high risk
  14. Screening pregnant women for hepatitis B at their first antenatal visit
  15. * Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Screening and Counseling for Sexually Active Women
  16. * Human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA test : testing for high-risk HPV DNA every three years for women age 30 and older with normal cytology results.
  17. Screening for osteoporosis in women over 60 depending on risk factors
  18. Screening for Rh incompatibility for all pregnant women and subsequent testing for women at high risk
  19. Screening and interventions for all women, and expanded counseling for pregnant women who use tobacco
  20. * Consultation on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for sexually active women
  21. Screening for syphilis in all pregnant women or other women at high risk
  22. * Visiting women for recommended preventive services

For all adults

  1. One-time abdominal aortic aneurysm screening for men of a certain age who have ever smoked
  2. Screening and counseling for alcohol abuse
  3. Aspirin use for men and women of a certain age
  4. Blood pressure screening
  5. Cholesterol screening for adults of a certain age or high-risk group
  6. Colorectal cancer screening for adults over 50
  7. Screening for depression
  8. Screening for Type 2 Diabetes for Adults with High Blood Pressure
  9. Diet advice for adults at increased risk of chronic disease
  10. HIV screening for all high-risk adults
  11. Immunization vaccines for adults – doses, recommended ages, and recommended populations vary:
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Shingles (shingles is the same virus as chickenpox, but the shingles vaccine has a higher dose and is for people over 60)
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Influenza (flu shot)
  • Measles, mumps, rubella
  • Meningococcal
  • Pneumococcal
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough
  • Chickenpox (chickenpox)
  1. Obesity assessment and counseling
  2. Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Prevention Counseling for High-Risk Adults
  3. Tobacco screening for all adults and cessation of tobacco use for tobacco users
  4. Screening for syphilis for all high-risk adults

Now that you know what you can get at no extra cost, feel free to plan the visit you were postponing.

Illustration by Angelica Alzona.


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