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MCCASKILL: NEW MEASURES WILL ALLOW FOR GREATER ACCESS TO PREVENTIVE CARE

Regulations issued today as part of healthcare reform will help save the lives of Missourians

July 14, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As the implementation of the new healthcare law begins to take effect, thousands of Missourians will soon have the opportunity to take advantage of life-saving preventive services through their insurance plans without a co-pay or deductible. Today, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury issued new regulations requiring new insurance policies to cover recommended preventive services, including blood pressure monitoring, diabetes and cholesterol tests, routine vaccinations, flu shots, and regular check-ups for babies and children. Many insurance plans previously charged a deductible, copayment or coinsurance for these services which led many Americans to forego important checkups.

"These new measures will improve the quality of life for Missourians by making it more affordable for people to receive regular check-ups," McCaskill said. "Because of this, doctors can catch health problems earlier and prevent small problems from becoming worse."

Research has shown that Americans, especially children, underutilize preventive services. Under the new law, which prompted the regulations released today, these preventive services must be covered in new health policies for plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010. Insurance companies offering these new plans can no longer charge Missourians a copayment, coinsurance or deductible for these services when they are delivered by a network provider.

Additionally, this law eliminates cost-sharing for recommended preventive care in Medicare beginning in 2011, making it easier for seniors to access critical preventive screenings and services.

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