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Health Insurance Tips
WE CAN HELP — Our health care experts are working to provide you with the resources you need to make the most of new health care consumer protections and tools.
Get The Best Deal On Health Insurance
Looking for health coverage? The Health Insurance Marketplace could save you time and money.
1. Check out options at the Health Insurance Marketplace. The plans include coverage for doctor visits, hospitalizations, maternity care, emergency room care, prescriptions and more.
Toll free: (800)318-2596 TTY: (855) 889-4325
2. Find out about financial help that’s available. At the Health Insurance Marketplace, you can find out if you qualify for financial assistance to lower your costs.
3. Use the Health Insurance Marketplace to compare plans side-by-side. The new marketplace lists your options on one website, and shows what each plan covers.
4. Take advantage of expert help in-person, online, or by phone. Specially trained people are available in communities across the country to help you apply and understand your options. Find them at LocalHelp.healthcare.gov.
5. Don’t take no for an answer. For coverage starting January 2014, insurance companies can no longer deny you due to a pre-existing condition.
6. Keep in touch. Check for updates on our website, and tell us about your experience. We want to hear what you think so we can spot trends and advocate for ongoing improvements. Contact us.
HEALTH CARE CONSUMER PROTECTIONS
If you have coverage, you already have protections under the health care law, such as:
- Children and young adults can stay on their parents’ plan until age 26
- Free preventive care, including check-ups and vaccinations
- Insurance companies can’t set a lifetime cap on what they’ll pay if you get sick
- Rebates if your insurance company spends less than 80% of premiums on care
Plus, new protections for coverage effective January 1, 2014 include:
- Insurers can’t deny anyone coverage for having a “pre-existing condition”
- No more annual caps on what your insurer will pay if you get sick
- Insurance companies can’t charge women more than men for coverage
Judge Richard J. Leon of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia today approved a massive merger of CVS, the country’s largest retail pharmacy chain, and Aetna, the third-largest health insurer in the United States, despite significant opposition from consumer advocates and health care organizations. Consumer Watchdog Adam Garber put out a statement in response.
People living in the United States have access to some of the best medical care in the world, from life-saving drugs to cutting-edge surgical techniques. But our system is deeply flawed, with spiraling costs forcing many Americans to spend more on care and often receiving poor quality care for all the extra money spent.
While many Americans struggle to afford their prescription drugs, U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s survey of retail prices of commonly prescribed medications found patients can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars in some cases by shopping around at pharmacies within their communities.
Today Reuters broke a story about at least 30 drugmakers that are planning to raise their U.S. prices on medicine in January 2019. The information was gathered thanks to California bill SB 17, authored by state Sen. Ed Hernandez, supported by our California state affiliate CALPIRG, and signed into law last year.
Here are two things you probably don’t know about colonoscopies. First, they’re one of the most commonly performed screening exams. Millions of us get colonoscopies each year, but we don’t like to talk about it. Second, you probably don’t know how much a colonoscopy costs, even if you are a patient who has scheduled an exam. That’s because colonoscopies are like most health care services: patients don’t know the cost in advance of receiving care.
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