Although Medicare regularly provides coverage for preventive services given high grades by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, it is not required to do so.
Under the ACA, some preventive services are now required to be covered with no copay by private insurance companies. Special correspondent Dr. Emily Senay reports on one little-known agency: the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).
The task force is comprised of 16 volunteer and independent physicians and academics who are vetted and selected by an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services.
The group considers the science behind which screening tests are most effective and then assigns them letter grades.
A: The USPSTF recommends the service. There is high certainty that the net benefit is substantial.
–U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
The USPSTF has been around since 1984, but before the ACA, the recommendations of the task force were just that – recommendations. But now because of the new health care law, health care insurance providers are required to cover the out-of-pocket expenses for screenings, medications and immunizations that are given high grades by the task force. Although Medicare regularly provides coverage for many of these services, it is not required to do so.
HIV, cervical cancer and osteoporosis testing as well as counseling for obesity and tobacco use along with vision screenings for children are now covered by private insurance providers and Medicare.