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myhealthfinder and the Affordable Care Act

What is the myhealthfinder tool?

The myhealthfinder tool provides personalized recommendations for preventive services based on age, sex, and pregnancy status. These recommendations come from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the Bright Futures Guidelines, and the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Committee on Preventive Services for Women.

Use the myhealthfinder tool to find out which preventive services you may need this year. Talk to your doctor or nurse to decide which preventive services are right for you based on your personal medical history and preferences.

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What is the Affordable Care Act?

The Affordable Care Act is the new health care reform law that was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010.

The Affordable Care Act requires private health plans to cover a wide range of preventive services, like screening tests and vaccines, without charging a co-pay or other fee. The coverage includes all preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the Bright Futures Guidelines, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

As of August 1, 2012, the Affordable Care Act covers a new set of preventive services for the women. These services are based on a report by the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Preventive Services for Women.

Find out more about how the health care reform law protects you.

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How can the Affordable Care Act help me stay healthy?

All of the recommendations included in myhealthfinder are covered by the Affordable Care Act. If you have private insurance, you may be able to get these preventive services at no extra cost to you. Many are also provided at no cost under Medicare and Medicaid. Check with your insurance provider to find out what’s included in your plan.

See the complete list of covered preventive services.

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How does the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) develop its recommendations?

The USPSTF is an independent panel of medical experts. Its recommendations for preventive services are based on reviews of the scientific literature and are “evidence-based.” This means that the USPSTF will only recommend a service if there is enough rigorous evidence to demonstrate its effectiveness.

The USPSTF recommendations are based on the highest (or strongest) level of evidence. Find out more about how the USPSTF develops its recommendations.

Sometimes there may not be enough evidence for the USPSTF to make a recommendation; however, people still need to make health decisions. In these cases, the government relies on the “next best” level of recommendations – called “evidence-informed” recommendations. The Bright Futures Guidelines are an example of this type of recommendation.

Get more details about the USPSTF recommendations.

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How are the Bright Futures (BF) Guidelines developed?

The Bright Futures BF Guidelines are developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics to support the health and well being of children.

The methodology behind Bright Futures is “evidence-informed.” For some topics, rigorous evidence isn’t available. In these cases, Bright Futures relies on the extensive experience of medical experts who help write the guidelines. Find out more about how the Bright Futures Guidelines are developed [PDF - 281KB].

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What is the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)?

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is a panel of medical experts who have been selected by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide advice on immunizations. The committee develops recommendations on who needs shots, at what ages, and how often.

Learn more about ACIP.

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What is the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Preventive Services for Women?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to review and recommend preventive services important for women’s health. The IOM’s Committee on Preventive Services for Women conducted the review and released a report in July 2011, recommending that the Affordable Care Act cover 8 additional preventive services for women.

The recommended services include well-women visits, screening for gestational diabetes, and HIV counseling. As of August 1, 2012, the Affordable Care Act covers these 8 additional services.

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Where can I get more information?

For more about the preventive services covered by the Affordable Care Act:

For more about the Affordable Care Act:

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