Three Essential Preventive Care Treatments You Can Now Access Through The Affordable Care Act

Ask any doctor, and they'll tell you: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Whether you're trying to stay in shape, or you're attempting to lower your risk of certain genetic diseases, accessing preventative care services can help you to reach your goals. Before the creation of the Affordable Care Act, some individuals went without these services simply because they weren't financially feasible. In this article, you'll learn about three essential preventative care services that are now accessible to most patients under the Affordable Care Act. 

Vaccinations

Vaccinations serve an important role in protecting society, as a whole, from diseases. Not only do they protect the individual receiving the vaccine, they also protect immunocompromised individuals like children and the infirm indirectly. Vaccinations like the flu shot, hepatitis A and B shot, and even the MMAR are now covered for the majority of citizens in the United States. The chicken pox immunization and tetanus prophylaxis vaccinations are also covered.

Quick tip: As some vaccinations are only covered within certain age groups, it's best to check with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and your insurance company before scheduling an appointment. This will ensure that you aren't presented with a fee once you arrive at your medical clinic. 

Mammograms

Many women find mammograms unpleasant, but they are an extremely good way to detect cancer early. Any discomfort is minor, and the procedure is over in just a minute or two. The benefits are immeasurable. When breast cancer is identified in its early stages, treatment, removal, and healing have a greater chance of success. Under the AFA, most insurance plans must provide full coverage for mammograms.

According to the American Cancer Society, any person who signed up for a plan after August 1, 2012, must be provided with free mammogram services. Plans older than this are, unfortunately, grandfathered in. They may or may not provide coverage under the act, so check with your insurance company if you're on an older plan.

Screening for Depression

Consider the numbers: according to the NIMH, nearly 16 million American adults experienced at least one bout of depression in 2012. That's nearly 5 percent of the population as of the same year. Add to this the fact that many Americans are working harder for less and struggling to get by, and you have the perfect recipe for depression. 

In light of this fact, the Affordable Care Act legislated that all insurance plans after August 1, 2012, must provide coverage for depression screening. While this doesn't necessarily include treatment costs, should you be diagnosed, it does provide you with a starting point from which to seek help. Screening may include counseling, an examination by your physician, or an appointment with a psychiatrist.

Quick tip: If you aren't sure whether you are experiencing depression, try taking this quiz; it can help to point out patterns and symptoms related to the condition.

Daily Aspirin Prevention Therapy

Aspirin has been around for hundreds of years, although it wasn't always referred to as aspirin. The drug comes from the bark of the willow tree, and historical evidence has shown that it was often made into a tea by our ancestors. It treated pain and was thought to cleanse the blood. Today, doctors know that aspirin can prevent heart attacks and strokes, especially in patients who have experienced the same in the past.

The Mayo Clinic confirms this. It also points out that aspirin therapy isn't for everyone, so you should never attempt to place yourself on it without a doctor's advice. This is true even if your insurance plan covers it due to the AFA. However, if your doctor has recommended it for you, you can breathe a sigh of relief: it should be covered in full.

These three easy preventative care services might seem small, but they can play a major role in society's overall health. Depression, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and communicable diseases are all major health challenges that Americans work hard at overcoming.If you have questions about these or any other health issues, contact a medical clinic.

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