What Are the “Free” Preventive Medical Services

Let’s face it.  Health insurance is expensive.  Next to housing costs it is often the biggest item in a family’s budget.  My clients often ask me for an explanation of why their health insurance premiums have increased.

I cannot offer any explanation other than the increase in medical fees charged by doctors and hospitals for previous rate increases but the rate increases people have or will receive after September 23 can partially be explained with the new mandated coverages from the PPACA that went into effect for all plans on their policy anniversary date after September 23, 2010.

If you have not gotten a rate increase since then, you will later this year on your policy anniversary.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas has done all of us consumers a favor.  They have listed all the “Preventive” medical costs on one sheet.  Click on the link to see which services used to be on a cost sharing basis and are now mandated for health insurance companies to pay 100%.

Prior to September 23 most of these medical services were already covered by most health insurance plans but were subject to cost sharing devices like deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays.  Obamacare has changed that dynamic.

Insurance companies are now required to pay 100% for the fees that doctors and hospitals charge for these services.

Insurance companies really have no reason to care what medical providers charge.  They are just glorified accounting firms.  They take in money in the form of premiums to pay the medical bills of their members.  If the bills they receive go up, all they need to do is pass that cost on to insureds.

In other words, the “free” preventive care that the PPACA mandated is not “free” after all.  The insurance companies are not going to give them away for nothing.  All of us are paying for those “free” preventive check-ups in the form of higher health insurance premium.


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