Blue Cross sent me my new Obamacare card and “Outline of Coverage” on Saturday, more than a month after I finally got signed up and 18 days after the new policy period started. I’m glad I didn’t get sick.
The accompanying letter advised, “Please carefully review the enclosed outline of coverage…”
I did. After the shock of seeing my deductible, I went online to view the more detailed explanation. That’s where I found this:
Women have unique health care needs that change over the course of their lifetime. The Affordable Care Act has expanded women’s preventive services to be covered with no member cost share for plans with ACA-defined preventive benefits beginning August 1, 2012 and upon renewal.
I understand why ACA would mandate free Rh(D) Incompatibility and other Screenings for Pregnant Females.
I understand why ACA would mandate free Cervical Cancer Screening for females only just as I understand why ACA would mandate free Prostate Cancer Screening for males only.
I simply do not understand why ACA would limit breast cancer screening, chlamydia screening, glucose screening, Hepatitis B virus infection screening, HPV DNA testing, to females only.
It’s not as if the government doesn’t know men develop breast cancer. NIH reports that, although breast cancer is much more common in women, men can get it too. It happens most often to men between the ages of 60 and 70. But there is no preventive male Breast Cancer Screening in the ACA list.
NIH reports that Chlamydial urethritis affects men. But there is no preventive male Chlamydia Screening in the ACA list.
An NIH report recommends the glucose challenge test screening for prediabetes and undiagnosed diabetes because diabetes prevention and care are limited by lack of screening. But there is no preventive male Glucose Screening in the ACA list.
CDC reports that gay and bisexual men are at increased risk for Hepatitis A, B and C. But there is no preventive male Hepatitis B virus infection screening in the ACA list.
CDC reports that most men who get HPV (of any type) never develop any symptoms or health problems but they can still transmit it to their partners. But there is no preventive male HPV DNA testing in the ACA list.
I did like my health insurance. It did offer free breast cancer screening, chlamydia screening, glucose screening, Hepatitis B virus infection screening, and HPV testing. To everyone covered. It covered my cataract surgery with no waiting period for the cataracts to “mature.” And so on.
Now I have sticker shock: The new policies cover less and cost more.
Once upon a time, that wasn’t a joke.