No Charge For Preventive Care Services? Verify Up Front to Avoid Out-of-Pocket Costs, Billing Hassles Later
The healthcare reform law requires that most health plans now cover common preventive care services without costing covered employees or their dependents anything out-of-pocket. However, the type of preventive service covered at no charge can be a moving target, especially based on where the service is performed, who performs the service, and how it is billed by the provider. Correcting preventive care services billed incorrectly by a provider is a real hassle.
A prime example is described in the recent Kaiser Health News article Consumers Expecting Free ‘Preventive’ Care Sometimes Surprised By Charges.
To avoid unwanted and unwarranted charges and the hassles of getting a bill corrected, first verify with your insurance carrier that the service your provider is recommending is a valid preventive care service (covered at a 100% with no associated out-of-pocket cost or copay). They should also be able to give you the correct billing code that providers should use. Secondly, and just as important, insist that the provider correctly bill the procedure as preventive.