Now that the United States Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, everyone in this country is required to have health insurance or pay a fine. There are some reasons why this law was put into place. Experts say health insurance is necessary to protect people who get sick from paying high medical costs. Depending on the coverage plan you have, you may be able to get free preventive care like vaccines, screenings, and check-ups before meeting your deductible.
Many times having coverage and visiting a doctor can prevent long-term expenses when it comes to your health. Regular check-ups with the doctor can help find a problem before the situation progresses into something more serious. Paying a co-payment and a monthly premium will likely cost much less than the out of pocket expenses associated with treating a condition that’s found too late.
In most cases, it’s not just wellness checks or follow-up appointments that are covered by an insurance plan. Prescription medication and other treatment options are usually a part of the program. Other options may include vision and dental, but not all employers provide or are required to offer these types of insurance.
Your provider should have a list of doctors and clinics you can visit when sick or in need of other medical attention. Going to an “out of network” doc could end up being a costly mistake, so read the fine print closely and ask lots of question. When you visit a doctor, you will receive a document called Summary of Benefits and Coverage. If you don’t receive this in the mail after your appointment, contact your insurance provider. This information can help explain exactly the costs involved in your coverage.
If you’re looking for coverage between jobs, there’s an option commonly known as COBRA. This has nothing to do with snakes or the GI Joe villain. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act is an alternative. The coverage is usually more expensive because you have to pay the expenses that an employer typically pays. COBRA can come in handy before new insurance kicks in or if you’re waiting for an open enrollment period under the ACA.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service has created a glossary of insurance terms you can look up and better understand how the system works. If you’re employed, the human resources department should be able to answer any questions. Otherwise, there are professionals working for the government to walk people through the enrollment process. Some companies will also explain the options with COBRA or other coverage alternatives. For this article, we searched for insurance agents Rockville MD and found more than 20 companies that were able to provide quotes including large agencies such as All State, State Farm, and Geico to name just a few.