Examining public knowledge and preferences for adult preventive services coverage

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Introduction To examine (1) what individuals know about the existing adult preventive service coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and (2) which preventive services individuals think should be covered without cost sharing. Methods An online panel from Survey Monkey was used to obtain a sample of 2,990 adults age 18 and older in March 2015, analyzed 2015–2017. A 17-item survey instrument was designed and used to evaluate respondents’ knowledge of the adult preventive services provision of the ACA. Additionally, we asked whether various preventive services should be covered. The data include age, sex, race/ethnicity, and educational attainment as well as measures of political ideology, previous insurance status, the number of chronic conditions, and usual source of care. Results Respondents correctly answered 38.6% of the questions about existing coverage under the ACA, while on average respondents thought 12.1 of 15 preventive services should be covered (SD 3.5). Respondents were more knowledgeable about coverage for routine screenings, such as blood pressure (63.4% correct) than potentially stigmatizing screenings, such as for alcohol misuse (28.8% correct). Blood pressure screening received the highest support of coverage (89.8%) while coverage of gym memberships received the lowest support (59.4%). Individuals with conservative ideologies thought fewer services on average should be covered, but the difference was small—around one service less than those with liberal ideologies. Conclusions Overwhelmingly, individuals think that most preventive services should be covered without cost sharing. Despite several years of coverage for preventive services, there is still confusion and lack of knowledge about which services are covered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0189661
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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