The 10 Healthcare Benefits You May Have and Not Know About
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, covering 10 “essential” healthcare services became law. Add state-required benefits and extras insurance providers offer, and you may have benefits you don’t realize you have. Caroline Banton of GO Banking Rates has put together a list of 10 unexpected common forms of coverage.
1. Diet Counseling and Obesity Treatments — 16 states require dietary or nutritional screening, and bariatric surgery to reduce the size of patients’ stomachs is now mandated in 23 states. Seven states require coverage for recently diagnosed diabetes.
2. Psychiatric Therapy — If your company has 50+ employees in its plan, or if you’re in an exchange, CHIP, or most Medicaid programs, the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act forbids insurance companies from charging higher co-pays for mental health visits.
3. Discounted or Free Health Clubs — Increased competition caused by the ACA has some insurance companies sweetening their products by adding coverage for fitness tracking/management and help with health-club membership costs.
4. Chiropractic Services — Some states offer coverage of chiropractic as a rehabilitative service. You can check out your state at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website.
5. Autism Screening and Therapy for Children — With 1 in 68 children on the autism spectrum, the ACA requires insurance companies to pay for preventive services including screening at 18 and 24 months. 43 states and Washington D.C. require coverage of autism services.
6. Smoking Cessation Programs — Treatment for tobacco addiction is categorized as a “mental health services and addiction treatment,” so the ACA’s required coverage also applies to rehab and treatment for other additions. The American Lung Association has details on the coverage mandated by the ACA.
7. Gender Reassignment — Human Rights campaign has information on over two dozen insurance companies that cover transgender-related health care.
8. Pre-Natal Folic Acid Supplements and Breastfeeding Supplies — The ACA requires covering breastfeeding support and supplies, as well as folic acid supplements. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services lists additional covered preventative services for women.
9. Acupuncture or Massage Therapy — Some insurers are covering alternative treatments such as these. Your best bet is to check with your provider.
10. Hair Prosthesis — Most insurance companies cover the cost of a wig if prescribed by a doctor. Beyond that, some states require coverage as an essential benefit.