The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, took great steps to reform the system of healthcare that left millions of Americans uninsured due to excessive cost and/or denial of coverage due to preexisting conditions. As part of these massive reforms, insurance providers were required to begin meeting minimum standards for essential coverage.
Included in minimal essential coverage guidelines are a number of preventive services designed to improve health and wellness, as well as reduce long-term costs for health care. Under Obamacare, certain types of STD testing may be covered, depending on factors such as gender and age.
Adult Preventive Services
Preventive services for adults that are covered under Obamacare include a variety of tests, screenings, shots, and immunizations, along with annual wellness visits. So long as patients remain in network, they shouldn’t have any out-of-pocket expenses related to such services. It is important to understand exactly what is covered under your particular plan, however, since related services (aside from screenings and vaccinations, for example) could be subject to cost sharing.
Adults enrolled in Obamacare are granted 15 different types of preventive services. In terms of STD testing, these services include HIV testing and syphilis screening. Services also include vaccinations for common STDs like hepatitis B and HPV (human papillomavirus), as well as counseling related to sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention for high risk adults.
Women’s Preventive Services
The ACA makes special considerations for preventive care pertaining to women’s health, so that women enjoy 22 different types of covered preventive services, instead of the standard 15 granted to all adults. These additional preventive services include well-woman exams, screening and counseling for domestic violence, and access to contraception and contraceptive counseling, just for example.
As for STD testing, in addition to screenings for HIV, HPV, and other STD tests available to all adults, women are also covered for gonorrhea testing.
Children’s Preventive Services
Children up to the age of 18 comprise their own category under Obamacare for the purposes of preventive services as they have specialized healthcare needs. STD related testing in this category includes HIV screening, hepatitis B and HPV immunizations, and gonorrhea preventive medication for the eyes of all newborns. STI prevention screening and counseling is also available to teens in this category.
Senior Preventive Services
Under Obamacare, seniors are eligible for covered preventive services through Medicare Part B. This includes screenings for HIV and hepatitis C, as well as hepatitis B shots and STI screening and counseling services.
Not all STD tests are covered under Obamacare, but if you have private insurance, you may or may not receive further screening services as part of your health coverage. You do, however, have other options.
Many major cities offer free STD testing at specified centers and clinics, and Planned Parenthood locations provide a sliding fee scale for patients that can help to reduce costs for those with limited income. If the type of STD testing you need is not covered under Obamacare or your third-party insurance, simply search for a Planned Parenthood location or free clinics or test centers in your area.