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U.S. News

Health Care Law Offers Preventive Care at No Cost

July 21, 2010

The Obama administration has released key information about the recently enacted Affordable Care Act's (ACA) coverage of preventive services, including STD screenings. New insurance plans cannot charge consumers copayments or deductibles for services with the highest recommendation from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

Only people in plans beginning after Sept. 23, or in existing plans that change substantially, will be covered for discounted services. Employer-based plans not significantly changed would be grandfathered-in.

HIV screening is covered for all adolescents and adults at increased risk for infection. Additional USPSTF clinical considerations specify that people who request HIV screening "despite reporting no individual risk factors may also be considered at increased risk, since this group is likely to include individuals not willing to disclose high-risk behaviors." CDC recommends health care providers routinely offer opt-out HIV screening to all patients ages 13-64.

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