More changes to health care coverage kick in
PADUCAH — For many of you, your health insurance plan will be very different.
Wednesday, all new and many existing insurance plans will be required to cover a wide range of preventative care services.
Among the services: screening for gestational diabetes, human papillomavirus testing, counseling for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, breastfeeding support, contraceptive methods and counseling, and screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence.
All new and non-grandfathered health insurance plans will undergo major changes.
"It's all built on how do we help people learn more about how to stay healthy," Carlton said.
It focuses on one group of people in particular.
"Not a lot in there for men but a lot of things for women," Carlton said.
Senior vice president of health and wellness with Peel and Holland, Gregory Carlton said studies found women were underserved. This seeks to change that.
"Big day, its a big day for women," Carlton said.
But nothing is free. While some plans already offered preventative care, those that didn't will likely go up in price.
"If you're in a plan that had very little preventative care and now is mandated to have a lot of preventative care, there's going to be a greater impact," Carlton said. "If you're in a plan that already had a lot of preventative care, there's not likely to be much impact in terms of cost, because it's already there."
He said you may see a 1 to 2 percent premium increase and patients should know what services they can now get without a co-pay.
You can also download a free smartphone app.
All you have to do is answer a few quick questions and when you go to the doctor, it will tell you what preventative health services you qualify for.
But some of the services are under fire. Religious groups have voiced strong opposition to the mandate, especially the part that forces coverage of approved contraceptives such as the morning after pill.
For now, religious groups have a year-long extension to implement the changes.
The FDA has approved a wide range of contraceptives. Right now, the way the law is written, all of those should be available without a co-pay.
Carlton said only time will tell. The FDA could change that list of approved contraceptives.