An estimated 71 million Americans became fully covered for preventative care such as colonoscopy screening, Pap smears, mammograms, well-child visits, flu shots, and many other services since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) became effective in September 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported last week.
The ACA requires that non-grandfathered health insurance plans fully cover these services and eliminate any deductibles. While the exact number of how many received expanded benefits as a result of this provision is unknown, HHS’s best guess is that almost one-third of Americans with insurance became eligible for the expanded benefits.
Eligibility of the benefit has not translated into more Americans seeking out these services. Late last year Kaiser Permanente Research Institute released a report showing that more than 80 percent of patients with high-deductible plans (representing more than 20 percent of all insured patients) were aware of the benefit.