Many Americans think that if they have health insurance, Obamacare guarantees them a free physical. It is surprising how many think this, but it is not true.
As with many of the other confusing aspects of Obamacare, what is included in “preventative services” is also unclear. Certain preventative services and wellness visits are covered, but annual physicals are not included.
Coding is how physicians and facilities get paid by insurance companies. Every service has its own code. If you go in for a physical and mention a question or concern, the visit may change the code from physical to a regular office visit. If a physician performs additional treatment, the coding must reflect that. There will be a copay to get a prescription renewed or a diagnosis of pain, since neither are considered preventative. EKG tests are not covered either as a preventative service, even if there is no immediate health concern. Some doctors may order additional tests or bill for a full office visit because that is how they get reimbursed from insurance.
Eligible preventive screenings which are 100% covered by insurance include those for high cholesterol, depression, diabetes, hepatitis, HIV, lung cancer, anemia, and urinary tract infections. Counseling for obesity, STDs, and tobacco use are also included.
For those lab tests, scans, procedures, and office visits that are not included in your insurance plan or even ones that are, MediBid is a great place to go. You can save hundreds to thousands of dollars by bypassing the insurance middleman and paying the fee directly to the physician or facility performing the service.
Lazarus, David. “Obamacare covers free annual physicals, right? Wrong.” Business. Los Angeles Times, 2 Aug 2016. Web. 4 Aug 2016.