What is Preventive Care?


Preventive care is the care you receive to prevent illness or diseases. Broadly, this includes screenings, immunizations and even counseling to prevent health problems. Preventive care can help to reduce health care costs and save lives by catching medical issues before they become more serious.

Is preventive care covered by insurance?

Yes. The Affordable Care Act requires that health insurers in the U.S. cover preventive care without requiring you to pay a deductible, copayment or coinsurance. All the more reason to discuss preventive care opportunities with your primary care physician.

What is considered preventive care?

The list of preventive care services differs between adults and children. Women have additional preventive care services that are fully covered as well. The following are examples of what's considered preventive care:

  • Cancer screenings
  • Diabetes screening
  • Vaccines
  • STI prevention counseling
  • Obesity screening and counseling
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Behavioral assessments for children
  • Depression screenings for adolescents
  • Breastfeeding support for pregnant and nursing women
  • Gestational diabetes screening

You can find a full list of preventive care services for adults, children and women from healthcare.gov.

When might I have to pay for these services?

The guidelines for what is considered preventive care are subject to change over time, so it's important to discuss the services you're receiving with your health care provider and ask if they will be billed as preventive care. If you're getting a screening as a result of experiencing symptoms or a screening uncovers something your doctor says needs to be addressed immediately, the visit may be classified as treatment, not preventive care.

How can I find out more about preventive care opportunities?

Your primary care provider is the best resource for discussing preventive care needs and opportunities. The more he or she understands about your lifestyle and family history, the more individualized his or her recommendations will be. If you're in need of a primary care partner you can trust, you're in luck. MyHealthKC makes it easy to find the right primary care provider for you. Just take this quick survey to match with a list of local primary care providers who fit your personality and needs.