Women’s Well-Care Essential to ACA healthcare policies

 

Nurse with AA woman
Well-women check-ups include preventive screenings for diabetes, cancer and depression

Improvements to health coverage have been one of the hallmarks of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which mandates that all insurance plans cover certain health benefits.

 

This has been especially important for women. For example, contraception and maternity care are covered in ACA plans at no additional charge. Well-women annual exams are covered with no co-pays or co-insurance costs when provided by an in-network provider. And deductibles don’t apply for these services either.

Other required benefits include breastfeeding equipment, HPV testing and domestic violence screenings.

In addition, all ACA healthcare policies and Medicaid plans cover pregnancy and childbirth, which are considered “essential health benefits.”  In fact, all qualified health plans both inside and outside the health marketplace must cover them.

 

women and girls photo
Practicing good health is a life-long pursuit

 

What exactly is a well-woman yearly check-up? It’s where you can talk to your health provider about your health and get preventive screenings, including for:

  • Certain types of cancer
  • HPV (human papillomavirus), which can lead to cervical cancer`
  • HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDS) DYK? Regular Pap tests lower the number of new cervical cancers and deaths by more than 80%.
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol. DYK? More than 75% of women 40-60 years of age have at least one risk factor for heart disease.
  • Diabetes Osteoporosis (weak bones)
  • Depression
  • Domestic violence

For a complete list of all #PreventiveCare offered women, go to: https://www.healthcare.gov/preventive-care-women/

In between visits, check out these “Healthtips” for a healthier you all year and all life long: http://go.usa.gov/x9JSz

Do you still have questions about what your healthcare policy covers? The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida’s federally licensed healthcare navigators are here to help! You can call our toll-free statewide number at 877-553-7453 to schedule an appointment with a navigator. More information is also available at www.efof.org/acanavigation.

 

When going without health insurance is not an option

Family Health
Hector Salgado and his wife, Liliana Pinzon depend on an affordable ACA policy to stay healthy and happy.

For Liliana Pinzon and her husband Hector Salgado, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been a blessing. Her husband has diabetes and depends on health care coverage to get the regular check-ups and prescription medications he needs.

For this family, going without healthcare is just not an option.

“When my husband changed jobs and lost his health insurance, we were able to get a new healthcare policy through the ACA at a reasonable cost,” Pinzon said. “This has allowed us to have access to good doctors and hospitals when we need them.”

Pinzon and her husband pay $500 a month in premiums. Her five-year-old daughter Maya is on Kidcare.  Before the ACA, the family paid $2,000 a month in premiums, an unsustainable amount that became impossible after Hector switched to part-time work because of his health.

Pinzon is very grateful to have an affordable policy, too. A few years ago she had a complicated pregnancy that resulted in termination due to a fetal abnormality and knows how it important it is to have health care coverage, especially women’s well-care.  

Her Florida Blue HMO healthcare policy allows her to receive care at a Community Health Center where doctor visits cost $3 and labs are free or very low-cost. She has thyroid disease and requires annual blood exams and monthly medications.

 “The ACA offers families like mine the opportunity to choose among many different healthcare policies with different prices,” Pinzon said. “This allows you to pick a healthcare plan that meets your needs – financially and health-wise, depending on your personal circumstances and health concerns.”

According to the Commonwealth Fund, among adults ages 19 to 64 who purchased or looked for a health plan through the ACA marketplace, 70 percent had two or more plans available, an even higher percentage than options available through employer plans. In addition, thirty percent of consumers buying marketplace plans said they had five or more plans to choose from. The number of options increases in more urban areas like South Florida.

 

For her husband, Hector, age 63, the various options available in Broward County, Florida meant finding a healthcare policy that included his doctors and had a good diabetes treatment program. Salgado works part-time as a college instructor where he has no health insurance.

“Thank goodness the Affordable Care Act has been available to me,” Salgado said. “Without it I wouldn’t have been able to stay healthy and helping to support my family.”

 

Choosing a Health Care Plan can be complicated.  You can learn more about how to pick a plan here: https://www.healthcare.gov/choose-a-plan/

The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida has licensed healthcare navigators who can help you make a decision about what policy is best for you and your family. Call our statewide toll-free number to speak to a navigator and set up an appointment for a personal assistance: 1-877-553-7453. For more information on the EFOF navigation program: http://www.efof.org/acanavigation/

Read the Commonwealth Report: http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/blog/2017/jun/health-plan-choice-in-aca-marketplace

Empower yourself to be healthy

Womens Health week photo

Can we talk?

Empower yourself to be healthy. #WomensHealth week is the perfect time to schedule that annual exam you’ve been putting off. Did you know that Pap tests lower the number of new cervical cancers and deaths by more than 80%. Regular screenings and check-ups save lives.

Well-woman visits include a full checkup, separate from any other visit for sickness or injury. These visits focus on preventive care for women, which may include:

  • Services, like shots, that improve your health by preventing diseases and other health problems
  • Screenings, which are medical tests to check for diseases early when they may be easier to treat
  • Education and counseling to help you make informed health decisions

Staying healthy is more than well-women care. More than  75% of women 40 to 60 have at least one risk factor for heart disease, the most common cause of death in women in the United States. That’s why it’s a good idea to also have your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked regularly.

Besides visiting a doctor for a checkup and preventive screenings, here are some other steps to stay healthy and happy:

  • Get active
  • Eat healthy
  • Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress
  • Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking or excessive drinking
  • Stay safe while on the road: wear a bicycle helmet, fasten your seatbelt and never text while driving.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in 2010, many insurance plans now cover at least one well-woman visit per year at no cost to you. Plans must also cover some screenings and types of counseling.

For more information about preventive services covered by the Affordable Care Act, visit HealthCare.gov. Contact your insurance provider to find out what’s covered by your plan.

EFOF navigators are here to help you understand your health insurance coverage and make the most of your benefits. Call 877-553-7453 to make an appointment with a health care navigator to find out more.