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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Half on Medicare in AZ use free preventive care

In Arizona, the Affordable Care Act – the new health care law – helped 258,660 people with original Medicare get at least one preventive service at no cost to them during the first six months of 2012, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today.

This is 45% of those eligible for these services in Arizona.  This figure also includes 32,321 in Arizona who have taken advantage of the Annual Wellness Visit provided by the Affordable Care Act.

Nationwide, over 16 million with original Medicare received at least one preventive service at no cost to them so far in 2012, including 1.35 million who have had an Annual Wellness Visit.  In 2011, 32.5 million people in Medicare received one or more preventive benefits free of charge.

“Millions of Americans are getting cancer screenings, mammograms and other preventive services for free thanks to the health care law,” said Secretary Sebelius.  “These new benefits, made possible through the health care law, are helping people stay healthy by giving them the tools they need to prevent health problems before they happen.”

Prior to 2011, people with Medicare faced cost-sharing for many preventive benefits such as cancer screenings.  Through the Affordable Care Act, preventive benefits are offered free of charge to beneficiaries, with no deductible or co-pay, so that cost is no longer a barrier for seniors who want to stay healthy and treat problems early.

The law also added an important new service for people with Medicare — an Annual Wellness Visit with the doctor of their choice— at no cost to beneficiaries.

For more information on Medicare-covered preventive services, please visit:

To learn what screenings, vaccinations and other preventive services doctors recommend for you and those you care about, please visit the myhealthfinder tool at


Anonymous said...

You really naive enough to think that anything is FREE? Are the doctors volunteering their time and materials for these FREE checkups? No? Who's paying for it then? The government? Who pays that? You and me. The insurance companies? Who pays that? The policyholders in the form of higher premiums.

What "Free" means in this context, is you are going to pay for it whether you use it or not.

My premiums went up $240 a year when the "free" stuff kicked in. In return, I got a "free" $55 mammogram.

Such a deal....

There are NO free lunches, NO free puppies, and NO free healthcare. There's just healthcare that someone else will pay for instead of the person receiving it.

But it will never be FREE.

Anonymous said...

Congress will refuse any major changes in Medi-Care for political reasons. Of greater relevance is the absence of means to pay for Medi-Care as it now exists, and here the logic appears to be fatally flawed.

The Ryan-Romney premise that the wealthy 2-3% of the population including corporations will (out the of kindness of their hearts?) engage in job creation. If the wealthy were going to create jobs, wouldn't they already have done so? They already have most of the expendable cash, and are choosing to sit on it rather than spend it.

How does Romney’s plan to allow them to keep even more cash provide any solution? The real crisis is the irrevocable transfer of ever greater wealth to the wealthy under the Bush tax cuts. The only solution is real tax reform, and the only alternative is eventual repudiation of burgeoning debt.

My only consolation, is that Ryan-Romney are revealing to intelligent Americans what a disingenuous policy they expound, and that the remainder of the population, including most thoughtful and deserving Americans, will be encouraged to vote according to their consciences.