So a vast majority of Americans now have health insurance but what does this mean for your health and wellness? A large part of what the Affordable Care Act does is mandate insurance companies to provide coverage for ten imperative health services that will change and save lives.
While the coverage of these services vary from plan to plan, overall it seems crazy that these things were not required to be covered by the insurance plans before. Most of the things on this list can be a matter of life and death, so consider your chances of living longer significantly increased to all those behind the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Here are the 10 things that we know MUST be covered by your insurance.
- Outpatient Care
Those who are readmitted to hospitals often do not receive the outpatient care they need. Whether they skip outpatient care due to apathy or financial worries is unknown, but we can assume some patients do not want to take on the cost. By covering part of the cost of outpatient care, it’ll make it easier for patients to get the follow-up care they need to avoid serious complications in the future.
- The Emergency Room
It is bad enough to be an emergency room without worry about whether your insurance plan covers it or not. Patients with serious illness or injuries may try to wait it out due to the fact they do not have coverage for the emergency room. This can lead to disability, worsening of the condition, or even death.
Nursing homes, hospital stays and operations all were not a required thing for insurance to coverage. These things don’t seem like a big deal until you actually need them. The truth is without insurance coverage this can also be a matter of life and death for a patient.
- Maternity and Newborn Care
For some, this aspect of health insurance coverage is downright cold. Maybe by some miracle you’ve never encountered someone in need of hospitalization, an emergency room or outpatient care, but every single person in the developed world likely receives some form of maternity and/or newborn care. It is unavoidable. This type of care helps ensure the health of the mother and baby, so they can go on to live happy and healthy lives.
- Mental Health and Addiction
According to the NIH 23.3 million need addiction treatment and 42.5 million people suffer from mental illness. This seems a rather substantial portion of the population to ignore, but believe it or not, insurance companies were not required to cover any treatment for either of these issues. Treatment for addiction and mental health can change lives for the better while simultaneously dropping the rate of crime, suicide and other societal issues. Whether you suffer from these problems or not, you indirectly benefit from those who need help getting it.
- Prescription Drugs
When it comes to prescription drugs, many experts out there think doctors are too ready to offer their patients scripts. That being said, there is no denying that some medications can help manage health problems. Take every prescription with a grain of salt, but be thankful you have coverage for the medications you really do need to better your health.
- Rehab Services and Devices
Plans have to provide 30 visits each year to physical or occupational therapy. This way when injury, disability or other chronic conditions occur, patients have a way to help re-develop lost mental and physical skills with a professional. Access to these services can help individuals live happier and more independent lives.
- Lab Services
Again, you should be mindful of doctors giving you every test under the sun to try to get to the bottom of a condition. This is a way that doctor’s office scam patients to raise bills. Yet, sometimes tests are necessary to discover a problem, so it really is up to your best judgement. P.S. A second of third opinion never hurt anyone before running through a gauntlet of tests.
The REALLY good news about this coverage is that preventative screenings, for things like breast cancer and prostate issues, are covered at the cost of your monthly premiums These tests save lives without a doubt.
- Preventive Medical Services
Although insurance doesn’t cover things like exercise and nutrition (we are working on it), they do cover medical services that help detect problems earlier. Counseling, physicals, immunizations and screens are all covered now. Early detection is the best way to deal with any problem early as possible.
- Pediatric Services
There is no reason a child should go without care. The fact we would not cover children is barbaric to say the least. As a bonus, plans must offer vision and dental for children helping to ensure the lifelong health of their eyes and teeth.
Conclusions on the Benefits of the Affordable Care Act
The effects of the ACA should not just be seen as everyone having insurance. It should be seen as a set of laws that require insurance providers to offer Americans imperative aspects of medical healthcare.
What is interesting is that many of these newly offered services are preventative and can save the patient and insurance company TONS of money. It seems ridiculous and short-sighted many of these things were not covered before.
Agree with the ACA or not, it is hard to deny all of these points should be a part of the most basic insurance plans. Here’s to America’s improved health well into the future!