Devised by President Obama and endorsed by insurance companies, the Affordable Health Care Act forces individuals to accept more responsibility for the status of their health.
Known as Obamacare, the Act has many controversial elements, but it also contains a little known initiative designed to assist people live healthier lifestyles through recommendations by the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council (USPFST).
The Council is tasked with managing the federal government’s national efforts to promote health and wellness.
The organization will study the issue and prepare a comprehensive list of recommendations on how the overall health of Americans can be improved to reduce serious health conditions and control the cost of healthcare.
Screenings And Services To Stay Healthy
Obamacare includes specific provisions to help achieve its goals. Under the Act, individuals have no co-pay when they obtain approved preventative testing that includes mammograms, colonoscopies, immunizations and medication to stop smoking.
Other services include screening for depression, high blood pressure and diabetes, along with cholesterol, HIV, STDs and free birth control. The full list has not yet been finalized.
The goal is to induce more people to undergo preventative testing in an effort to identify and treat diseases and health conditions in early stages.
The strategy is to avoid costly treatments later on and drastically cut medical costs.
The tests deemed the most effective will be available without co-pays and are those that meet the following criteria – non-invasive, easy to perform and highly accurate. Some healthcare plans have “grandfathered’ status and are exempt from the new Obamacare requirements.
Exemptions on these plans went into effect on Jan. 1, 2011 and will continue those exemptions into the future.
Paying For Healthcare
Part of the price for a healthier life is purchasing healthcare insurance. To facilitate the process, Obamacare has expanded Medicaid coverage for the poor, established a Marketplace where individuals can purchase multiple levels of coverage, and set up subsidies to help them pay for it.
Before Obamacare, those who couldn’t afford insurance or chose not to buy it typically went to emergency rooms for treatment. Obamacare requires every citizen to take responsibility by requiring them to purchase healthcare insurance.
The Rewards Of Good Health
Obamacare allows and encourages employers to offer workers financial rewards who demonstrate measurable efforts toward improving their health.
A different standard must be established for those unable to meet the wellness goals established in insurance policies.
Obamacare attempts to address many of the health and wellness issues currently affecting patients by providing free preventative tests and screenings.
Many have pointed out that health can’t be legislated. It requires better decision making on the part of consumers, access to healthier food, and the financial means to purchase it.