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Health care reform will lead more people to seek cancer prevention and risk-reduction services

November 19, 2015

If your policy has not changed much, it may be "grandfathered." So, it may or may not cover the prevention services listed above. But, it also can't get rid of any prevention services you had coverage for on March 23, 2010 or raise rates too much. If it does, it becomes a "new" plan, complete with prevention coverage with no out-of-pocket costs.

Ask your insurance provider if your policy is grandfathered. Insurers are required to disclose this information.

Have Medicare?

Starting on Jan. 1, 2011, Medicare will provide cancer prevention services with no out-of-pocket costs, including:

???Mammograms ???Flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy ???Prostate cancer screening???Pap tests ???Smoking cessation help???Weight, body-mass index and waist measurements, which help determine if someone is at higher risk of weight and body fat-related cancers ???Medical and family history review???Personal risk assessment

Have Medicaid?

Starting in 2013, state Medicaid programs that offer free or low-cost prevention services will get extra money as an incentive. And, community health centers are getting more funds to provide free and low-cost preventive care. So, it should be easier to get cancer screening exams, vaccines and other prevention services.

Keep in mind that many details of health care are still being hammered out. "The good news is that health care reform makes wellness and prevention top priorities," Hawk says. "These are very promising and important developments for all Americans, and particularly for the most vulnerable among us ?? underserved communities, who often forgo regular screenings because they're too expensive or inaccessible."

SOURCE The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center