December 31, 2002
Only a few preventive care tests and measures are described in employers’ health plan summaries.
Mammograms and Pap smears, two cancer screening tests, are the most commonly described preventive health provisions in health plan summaries. Plans commonly provide for one baseline mammogram between ages 35 and 39 and some age-related schedule for ages 40 and older. Pap smears are usually limited to once a year.
Well-child care is also among the most commonly described provisions. This provision is sometimes grouped under wellness or preventive care with age limits of 6, 12, or 18 years.
These data were collected by a joint effort of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the Department Health and Human Services and the Employee Benefits Survey of the Bureau of Labor Statistics under the auspices of the Interagency Committee on Employment-Related Health Insurance Surveys. Note that the study measured only whether provisions were described in plan documents. For more information see, "Preventive care provisions, other benefits: are they described in plan documents?" by Alan P. Blostin in the October 2002 issue of Monthly Labor Review.