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About a decade ago I received a distraught call from my high school friend, Mark, telling me that his son had just been diagnosed with cancer at his one year old well child visit with the pediatrician.  A decade later, he called to say that his son’s life had been saved by this checkup.  He also shared that his wife, Maggie, was telling their story along side Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, and Secretary Sebelius to announce new measures passed in health reform to make sure that cost never stands in the way of a child or adult getting the preventive health care they need to stay healthy.

Due to new health care regulations, as of September 23, 2010, all new health insurance plans will be required to cover recommended preventive services without charging a deductible, copayment or coinsurance.

How will this help parents and children?

Many children don’t get the preventive care they need: 12 percent of children have not had a doctor’s visit in the past year, and a recent study found that children receive recommended care less than half of the time.

These new regulations will change this by ensuring that a comprehensive set of preventive services are available in new health plans with no cost sharing. These services for children include:

  • - Physical exam and measurements
  • - Vision and hearing screening
  • - Oral health risk assessments
  • - Developmental assessments to identify any development problems
  • - Screenings for hemoglobin level, lead, tuberculin, and other tests
  • - Counseling and guidance from your doctor about your child’s health development

As Maggie and Mark’s story shows, preventive care can make a life saving difference for children and adults.  To hear Maggie and Mark’s story and see yesterday’s event announcing new prevention measures, see:

For more information on what preventive services must now be covered by new health plans, please visit  If you are not in a new health plan, check out the above website in October when you can find out if there are health plans available that may provide better coverage at better prices than you now have.

For more information about these new regulations see:

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