e3 Financial News Archive For July / August 2010
Health Reform: List of Preventive Services without Cost-Sharing Released
Aug 03, 2010
The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury issued interim final regulations requiring new plans and issuers to cover certain preventive services without any cost-sharing requirements when delivered by network providers. Cost-sharing includes out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance. Employers should note that these required preventive services do not apply to grandfathered plans.
Under the new rules, services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) will generally be required to be provided without cost-sharing when delivered by an in-network provider in the plan years that begin on or after September 23, 2010 (except grandfathered plans). For recommendations that have been in effect for less than one year, plans and issuers will have one year from the effective date to comply. Thus, recommendations and guidelines issued prior to September 23, 2009 must be provided for plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010.
Recommendations of the USPSTF appear in a released chart, which can be accessed by clicking here.
Preventive Services to Be Covered without Cost-Sharing
HHS reports that under the new rules, depending on age and plan type, individuals may have easier access to the following preventive services:
• Blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol tests
• Cancer screenings, including mammograms and colonoscopies
• Flu and pneumonia shots
• Routine vaccines ranging from routine childhood immunizations to periodic tetanus shots for adults, including diseases such as measles, polio, or meningitis
• Counseling from health care providers on such topics as quitting smoking, losing weight, eating better, treating depression, and reducing alcohol use
• Counseling, screening and vaccines for healthy pregnancies
• Regular well-baby and well-child visits, from birth to age 21
The interim final regulations also make clear that a plan or issuer is not required to provide coverage or waive cost-sharing requirements for any item or service that has ceased to be a recommended preventive service. For example, if a recommendation of the USPSTF is downgraded from a rating of A or B to a rating of C or D, or if a recommendation or guideline no longer includes a particular item or service, the service is not required to be provided without cost-sharing.
For more on preventive services under the Affordable Care Act, please click here, or view the chart of covered services by clicking here. You can also view a list of covered services for adults, women (including pregnancy) and children by clicking here. To view the interim final regulations, please click here. To learn more about changes to group health plans under the Affordable Care Act, including grandfathered plans, please visit the HR & Benefits Essentials Health Care Reform Section by clicking here.