What Are Children’s Preventive Health Screenings?
Children’s preventive health screenings are designed to help healthy kids stay healthy throughout various stages of their young lives. Preventive health screenings are routine check-ups that help to diagnose health issues before they develop or develop into a more serious condition. Identifying health problems at an early stage also helps to keep health care costs from rising since more serious health issues are often more costly to treat.
What Children’s Health Screenings Are Provided Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?
Under the ACA, also known as ObamaCare, health insurance plans cover several preventive care services unless the plan is grandfathered in. In addition to routine check-ups, children with Marketplace coverage now have access to 27 preventive health screenings and services that can help to diagnose physical, developmental, and/or behavioral disorders from an early age and provide kids with immunizations to help them stay healthy.
- Alcohol and drug use assessments.
- Autism screening for children between the ages of 18 and 24 months of age.
- Behavioral assessments for newborns and children between the age of 1 month and 17 years of age.
- Blood pressure screenings (ages 0 to 11 months, 1 to 4 years, 5 to 10 years, 11 to 14 years, and 15 to 17 years).
- Cervical dysplasia screening for sexually active female adolescents.
- Depression screening for children and adolescents.
- Developmental screenings for children age 3 and younger.
- Drug and alcohol use assessments, including tobacco, alcohol, and narcotic use for adolescents.
- Dyslipidemia screening. This preventive service is designed to detect a metabolic lipoprotein disorders, such as overproduction or a deficiency of lipoprotein. It is offered to children who have a high likelihood of developing lipid disorders.
- Fluoride chemoprevention and supplements to help encourage healthy teeth for children in areas without fluoride in their water source.
- Gonorrhea preventive medication to ensure healthy eyes for all newborns.
- Hearing screening for all newborns.
- Height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) measurements (ages of 0 to 11 months, 1 to 4 years, 5 to 10 years, 11 to 14 years, and 15 to 17 years).
- Hematocrit or hemoglobin screening for children to check for anemia or other blood disorders
- Hemaglobinopathies or sickle cell screening for newborns to detect sickle cell anemia and other blood disorders.
- HIV screening for high-risk adolescents, teens, and pre-teens.
- Hypothyroidism screening for newborns.
- Immunization vaccines for all children from birth to age 18. Immunization schedules vary, as do doses, recommended ages and populations. The preventive vaccines offered include:
- Diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis
- Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib vaccine to prevent meningitis, pneumonia, and epiglottitis)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Inactivated poliovirus
- Influenza (flu shot)
- Measles, mumps, and rubella
- Iron supplements for children between the ages of 6 and 12 who may be at risk for anemia.
- Lead screening for children at a high risk of exposure.
- Medical history for all children at various stages of development (ages 0 to 11 months, 1 to 4 years, 5 to 10 years, 11 to 14 years, and 15 to 17 years).
- Obesity screening and counseling.
- Oral health risk assessment for young children (ages 0 to 11 months, 1 to 4 years, and 5 to 10 years).
- Phenylketonuria (PKU) screening for newborns to determine if they have the amino acid required for normal growth and development.
- Sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention, counseling, and screening for high-risk adolescents
- Tuberculin testing for children with a higher-than-normal risk of developing tuberculosis (TB).
- Vision screening for all children.
By taking advantage of preventive screenings offered by ACA-approved plans, parents stand to give their newborns and children a greater chance at healthy development. Making sure children receive the recommended screenings will help today’s children establish a wellness routine as adults and continue along the path for a healthy future.