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As a parent, I’m no stranger to dealing with sick kids. I have two little girls at home so between the latest daycare bug or soccer practice sprain, trips to the doctor can be frequent and expensive.

And that doesn’t even account for the time I have to take off work to get them there.

That’s why I’d do anything to keep my kids healthy. One tip I follow – and tell other parents who call us – is take kids in for the totally free routine preventive care that’s built into your health plan*. It’s stuff you do – before your kids get sick – and can help cut down on those unexpected visits later.

It’s more than just immunizations and regular check-ups, there’s great stuff you might not know about like autism screenings and oral health checks.

Some of these preventive care services include:

Screenings

  • Hearing screening for newborns
  • Autism screening at 18 and 24 months
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Depression screening
  • Developmental screening
  • Vision screening
  • Obesity screening

Assessments

  • Behavioral assessments to check for behavior problems
  • Alcohol and drug use assessment
  • Mouth, gum and teeth health risk assessment

Immunizations

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Human Papillomavirus (PVU)
  • Inactivated Poliovirus (Polio)
  • Influenza (flu shot)
  • Measles
  • Meningococcal (meningitis)
  • Pneumococcal (pneumonia)
  • Varicella (Chickenpox)

For a complete list of free kid’s preventive care covered by all health plans, visit cdc.gov.

Call your health plan if you aren’t sure what’s covered or what your child is due for. They can help you find all those freebies.

*The one exception is “grandfathered” plans – or certain existing health plans that haven’t changed in several years – and do not have to cover all preventive care services. Your employer has to tell you if your plan is grandfathered, but if you’re not sure, call and ask.

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