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I heard that plans have to cover preventive services without cost sharing. Does this include every preventive service and are there any limits to what is covered?

If you are in a non-grandfathered, or a new private plan, including those available through health insurance Marketplaces, then your plan is required to cover a wide range of preventive services and may not impose cost-sharing charges (such as copayments, deductibles, or co-insurance). The ACA requires private plans to provide coverage for services under four broad categories: evidence-based screenings and counseling, routine immunizations, childhood preventive services, and preventive services for women. So long as the preventive service is performed by an in-network provider, is not billed separately from the office visit, and is the main reason for the office visit, then the visit and the preventive service will be covered by the insurer without cost-sharing.

If you buy coverage on your own and you first purchased your policy prior to March 23, 2010, it may be a grandfathered plan. These plans are not required to cover preventive services without cost sharing. If you are not sure if your plan is grandfathered, check with your employer or your insurance plan.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.