Thank you to United Healthcare for sponsoring this discussion. All opinions and my desire to know the facts are 100% my own.
Healthcare reform, the Affordable Care Act (or ACA); these are terms that are certainly not new. In fact they’ve made many headlines in the past couple years. They have been the topic of many debates, and been the cause of much confusion. For some the Affordable Care Act has been a blessing, others may be more likely to call it a curse. No matter which side of the fence you’re on with this though, or maybe you’re straddling the middle not entirely sure what to think, you should know what the Affordable Care Act means for you and you should understand what coverage means for your family.
Let me start by saying in no way am I claiming that I am either a proponent or an opponent of the Affordable Care Act. What I am saying is that it’s something that does or will affect all of us in one way or another and whether positive or negative, I think we should all have at least a basic understanding of what we’re dealing with. Just as important, I believe that everyone making healthcare decisions should understand their coverage options so that they make the choices that are the most beneficial to their family. That is why I’m sharing this information that United Healthcare has so graciously shared with me, with you – not because I want you to feel one way or another about healthcare reform or the ACA in general.
The more you know about the ACA, the better prepared you’ll be to make smart decisions about your coverage. See what open enrollment is all about and why it matters to you. Essentially, if you don’t have coverage through an employer, or you are not opting to waive coverage, you need to use the time of open enrollment to get the proper health plan bought and set for your family. You have until February 15 to have coverage from the marketplace in 2015. The exchanges or the marketplace is a website that allows you to compare plans from a variety of providers much like Travelocity or Expedia for travel plans.
So you know a little more about health care and why reform matters…now you need to know what exactly you’re buying. Insurance companies want you to be healthy, and health insurance is actually cheaper for you if you are. That is why preventative care and other measures are being covered by insurance more often now. It’s important to look at deductibles, copays, premiums and maximum out-of-pocket expenses as well as the what services are covered and what are not, when comparing health plans. Think about your family and what kinds of things you see doctors for, get prescriptions for, or have operations for. Your health insurance costs can be affected by how much coverage, deductibles, and copays you take.
So, you are discovering all of this new information about health care and what’s involved in the shopping process, but you also need to make sure that you know how to get the most out of the health care plan you do choose. Check your deductible and out-of-pockets on a regular basis to stay ahead. When deciding on a plan, look for added value options provided by the company such as nurse lines, apps, and health club discounts too. If these are things that would benefit you, it may make one plan a better fit for you than another option. Also, make sure to ask your Doctor how much medical tests will cost if you need them and if there are less costly alternatives because in many cases, there may be options there too without sacrificing care.
Holy information overload right?! I know, it’s a lot to take in but it’s important stuff — I mean really what’s more important than the health and well being of you and your family? Want more information or have questions about what you’ve learned? Make sure you pop over to United Healthcare for the answers you need to make the best decision for you.
What’s your main question or concern about healthcare reform or the Affordable Care Act? It’s all super confusing stuff so maybe we can help each other out and find some answers! Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!