Nearly one million Medicare recipients in New York received at least on preventive service at no charge during the first six months of the year due to changes brought about by the federal Affordable Care Act, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today. The 997,400 people who obtained the care represent 52 percent of those who are eligible, she said.
Across the country, more than 16 million people with Medicare received at least one preventive service at no charge. Medicare is a health-care program for people older than 65 and certain people with disabilities younger than 65. In 2011, 32.5 million Medicare recipients got one or more preventive benefits free of charge, according to the Health and Human Services Department.
Before 2011, people with Medicare had to pay for a portion of many preventive benefits, such as cancer screenings.
“Millions of Americans are getting cancer screenings, mammograms and other preventive services for free thanks to the health care law,” Sebelius said in a statement. “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.”
In addition to full coverage of preventive services, the Affordable Care Act also added an annual wellness visit with the doctor of their choice at no cost to beneficiaries.