Six In 10 Consumers With Private Insurance Use No-Cost Preventive Services

A majority of Americans with private health coverage take advantage the access to no-cost preventive services, a new analysis by KFF found.

About 60% of the 173 million people enrolled in private health coverage used at least one of the Affordable Care Act’s no-cost preventive services in 2018 before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, about 100 million people receive preventive services with no patient cost sharing in a typical year.

Among the highlights of the research:

  • The most commonly received preventive services include vaccinations; well-woman and well-child visits; and screenings for heart disease, cervical cancer, diabetes and breast cancer. COVID-19 vaccines also are provided at no cost to patients under the ACA’s preventive services requirement, although how many people will use them in the future is uncertain.
  • Women and children are more likely than men to have used at least one no-cost preventive service through their private insurance in 2018. This may be in part because many services are recommended only for specific groups of people based on criteria such as age and gender. For example, mammograms are recommended for women aged 50 to 74, while many vaccinations are recommended for young children.
  • About 7 in 10 children from birth through age 17 with private insurance coverage accessed preventive care in 2018, with equal usage among boys and girls. A similar percentage of young women use preventive care into adulthood, while only about 3 in 10 young men do so. In middle age, utilization increases for men, although still at a lower rate than for women.
  • Similar shares of people who receive their coverage through a large employer (61%), fully insured small employer (57%) or the individual market (55%) accessed preventive care in 2018.


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