6 Surprising Ways the Health Care Law Will Change Your Life

Under the Affordable Care Act, mammograms, physicals and vaccinations are among the preventive care services that will be fully covered by insurance companies.

Posted: 07/02/2012 08:45 AM EDT
Ways the health care law will change your life.

Many of the Affordable Care Act’s sweeping effects have been the main focus of discussion. But, inside of this law’s 2,700 pages are many lesser known preventive changes that could affect your life…many in very surprising ways.

Free Preventive Care

Mammograms, physical exams, colonoscopies, vaccinations — these are among the preventive care services that will be fully covered by insurance companies.

This requirement kicked in for new health insurance plans that began on or after September 2010. Examples of preventive care include screenings for cholesterol, diabetes, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, which are covered without a co-pay.

For women, this would also cover genetic counseling for the BRCA gene for women at higher risk of breast cancer, mammograms every one or two years for women over age 40 and HPV DNA testing every three years for women. For kids, the services include autism, vision, developmental and lead screenings.

Caloric Reality at Every Major Chain Restaurants

If you’ve gone to a few fast food restaurants recently, you may have noticed that more and more of them are listing the calories of their food items. Under the law, this will continue.

The law requires restaurants with 20 or more locations to list calorie content information for standard menu items on menus and drive-through menus. Other fun facts like fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, sugars, fiber and total protein would have to be made available in writing upon request.

So far, there is mixed evidence about whether calorie postings sway nutritional choices. Also, while the law extends to vending machines, movie theaters were left out.


For more on the ACA, visit BET.com/health and BlackDoctor.org

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(Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)