Critter Corner: What are some of the free preventative health services provided under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?


Dear Angel,

I heard the good news about yesterday’s ruling that the ACA is here to stay. Can you tell me about some of the preventative health services I am eligible for under the ACA?


Anita Call Adocta


Dear Anita,

The ACA mandates expanded preventive health services for all Americans, including Medicare beneficiaries.

Under the ACA rules, a free yearly wellness exam is available from doctors who participate in Medicare. The wellness exam supplements a one-time “Welcome to Medicare” exam that is free to people who take advantage of it within their first 12 months of Medicare coverage.  Medicare has details on the preventive measures it covers. Below are the Medicare preventive and wellness items that are free. Ideally, they should be part of an ongoing wellness plan that you and your physician develop.

Below are examples of preventative services covered by the ACA:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
  • Bone mass measurement
  • Flu shots
  • Hepatitis B shots
  • Breast cancer screening (mammograms)
  • Medical nutrition therapy services (for those with diabetes or kidney disease)
  • Pap tests and pelvic exams (includes clinical breast exam; once every 24 months or once every 12 months for at-risk women)
  • One-time “Welcome to Medicare” physical exam
  • Yearly “wellness” exam (for people with Part B Medicare longer than 12 months)
  • Pneumococcal shot
  • Smoking cessation (counseling to stop smoking; for those not previously diagnosed with an illness caused or complicated by tobacco use)

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a general set of wellness tips for women and men above the age of 50.

Be sure to take advantage of these important, no-cost procedures offered as a result of the ACA, as part of a wellness plan formulated by you and your doctor.

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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.