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Unexpected limits of new, free preventive care

The Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2011
Starting this year, millions more Americans will be able to get free preventive care, including hearing-loss tests for newborn babies, depression screening for adolescents and bone-density scans for women at risk of osteoporosis. With growing concern that Americans aren't getting the preventive care they need, a provision in the new health law requires Medicare and new health policies to fully cover 45 preventive screenings and services. Close to 80% of adults from the age of 20 to 80 are candidates for at least one preventive test or service, studies show. This should boost the number of people receiving preventive care. But many patients don't take advantage of such services, and many doctors don't routinely offer them, even though in many cases existing health plans cover all or part of the cost.

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