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In Alaska, 21,378 with Medicare get Free Preventative Services

In Alaska, the Affordable Care Act – the new health care law – helped 21,378 with original Medicare get at least one preventive service at no cost to them during the first six months of 2012, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today.  This is 32% of those eligible for these services in Alaska.  This figure also includes 1,697 in Alaska who have taken advantage of the Annual Wellness Visit provided by the Affordable Care Act.

Nationwide, over 16 million with original Medicare received at least one preventive service at no cost to them so far in 2012, including 1.35 million who have had an Annual Wellness Visit.  In 2011, 32.5 million people in Medicare received one or more preventive benefits free of charge.

“Millions of Americans are getting cancer screenings, mammograms and other preventive services for free thanks to the health care law,” said Secretary Sebelius.  “These new benefits, made possible through the health care law, are helping people stay healthy by giving them the tools they need to prevent health problems before they happen.”

Prior to 2011, people with Medicare faced cost-sharing for many preventive benefits such as cancer screenings.  Through the Affordable Care Act, preventive benefits are offered free of charge to beneficiaries, with no deductible or co-pay, so that cost is no longer a barrier for seniors who want to stay healthy and treat problems early.

The law also added an important new service for people with Medicare — an Annual Wellness Visit with the doctor of their choice— at no cost to beneficiaries.

For more information on Medicare-covered preventive services, please visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/65-older/medicare-preventive-services/index.html

To learn what screenings, vaccinations and other preventive services doctors recommend for you and those you care about, please visit the myhealthfinder tool at www.healthfinder.gov

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