If you have individual health insurance it’s natural to think you can ignore all the publicity around the Affordable Care Act. But, guess what? The new legislation may still impact you. If you haven’t been paying close attention, then here’s a speed course on five important things for anyone who has insurance.
1. Review your health plan. Even though you’re already insured, it doesn’t hurt to review your plan with your insurance agent or carrier to understand if any of your benefits have changed due to the ACA.
2. Use your preventive care benefits mandated by the ACA. Preventative services such as immunization vaccines, blood pressure screening, and osteoporosis screening are covered at 100% with no deductible, co-insurance, or copayment. You can find a full list of benefits here, but if you’re on a “grandfathered plan,” you may not receive all of these benefits.
3. Know that you can’t be dropped from your plan. Insurance companies can no longer drop you for becoming sick. Also, your plan will not experience changes that greatly cut or reduce plan benefits, increase your coinsurance, or increase your copayments or deductibles.
4. Continue to pay your health insurance premiums. Because you have health insurance, you are already covered under the law and should not be subject to any tax penalty. Just continue to pay your premiums as you normally do to keep your coverage in force and accessible in the event you need care.
5. Plan for the expenses that your health insurance doesn’t cover. A 2013 report from NerdWallet Health estimates that nearly 10 million American adults with health insurance will still receive medical bills that they can’t pay off this year. With supplemental health insurance coverage, you can offset those costs with plans that often pay cash benefits directly to you if you get sick or injured.