Getting free preventive services under the law is easy. You just have to ask. If your coverage is through an employer or through one of the new insurance exchanges, the services will be covered in full and there will be no deductible or co-payment. Your doctor (or other health care provider) should not ask you for any payment. If he or she does, ask them to contact your insurance plan for clarification.
The preventive services you can get for free are those that receive the highest ratings for effectiveness (grade A or B) from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a government advisory group composed of medical and public health experts. Your eligibility for each service depends on your age, sex, and health risk factors. To see the current list, click here. For more information on preventive services available for free to women, click here.
Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H. is a professor of law at the Earle Mack School of Law and professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health at Drexel University. He also writes for The Field Clinic blog.