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This study examines preventive medical care in a general population. Data in the RAND Health Insurance Experiment were examined. These data are based on a demographically representative sample. Random assignment of insurance coverage guarantees results unaffected by adverse selection. Many people, especially adult males, do not get the recommended levels of preventive care. It would cost about $10 per man to bring men up to a level of one well-care visit in three years, nearly the same per woman, and $116 per woman aged 45 to 65 if a mammogram were included. It would cost $22 more per child to ensure that every child had a full set of shots by 18 months. Although cost-sharing is an important determinant of the use of services, it is not the only obstacle to receiving the recommended levels of preventive care. A much more generous plan than those commonly available still had substantial fractions of the population not seeking the wellness care the medical profession recommends.

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