Maximize your HSA e-Newsletter
Vol. 16, Issue 5
In Uncertain Times, Your Preventative Benefits are More Important than Ever
As a health insurance professional with over 30 years of experience, I can safely say that as a people, planet, and country, we are entering a period of unmatched uncertainty when it comes to health care. Not only has Covid-19 managed to pull the e-brake on our entire economy, but behind it all is a tangled knot of senators and congresspeople who can’t seem to agree what kind of health care us regular folk really need.
I can’t tell you how everything is going to work out, and Lord knows that we’ve probably got a few more curveballs heading our way before we’re out of the proverbial forest. But what I can offer is a singular piece of advice that seems to work no matter who you are, what kind of coverage you have, or what is happening in the world around us: Stay healthy.
One ‘Weird Trick’ to Avoiding Hospital Fees: Stay Out of the Hospital
While some illnesses are clearly unavoidable (as we are seeing) a large portion of hospital stays and medical procedures in this country are due to issues that could have been prevented if they were managed properly.
As Americans, we have unique access to a number of preventative health services that can keep us out of the hospital, therefore sidestepping the potential devastation that can come with an unexpected illness or procedure.
Sadly, there aren’t that many people that use these benefits, and an even more startling number of us who don’t even know that they exist.
Know the Benefits You’re Already Paying For
According to the guidelines laid out by the Affordable Care Act, there are a number of preventative and wellness-based services that are covered by your plan with no out-of-pocket costs. The goal of these services is to create a healthier population, which, ideally, would reduce the burden on the current healthcare system. It is one of the few tenets of the ACA that is designed to reduce costs for providers and patients alike.
Things like health screenings, annual check-ups, colonoscopies, mammograms, and mental health services are only a few examples of what is available. While these are the kind of things that can be easy to put off for a later date, getting them done the moment they are available to you is a good way to reduce your future risk, and hopefully keep you out of the hospital altogether.
(Anyone with a Health Savings Account should take note; staying healthy is the best way to minimize your HSA withdrawals).
If you are interested in seeing a more comprehensive list of the kinds of services that are covered according to the ACA, click here.
Yes, Health Sharing Programs Do Offer Preventative Benefits
While it varies from plan to plan, many health share plans offer the same preventative benefits as health insurance programs are required to provide. One of our most popular health share options, MPowering Benefits, covers all of the benefits that we listed above.
However it is important to note that some health share plans are designed exclusively for unexpected emergency care, and because of this they lack preventative care benefits. Your personal benefits manager is the one to talk to if you are unsure about how your health sharing program stacks up against other plans and options.
What about Covid-19?
One of the most pressing issues on people’s minds is Covid-19, and it is easy to see why. If you have fallen ill and think that you might be infected with the virus, then getting tested might be something that you will have to do.
At the moment, it looks like the major insurance companies have decided to waive most or all of the fees associated with a Covid-19 test. However if you find yourself in the position of getting a test, you should take the time to confirm with your provider whether or not it will be totally covered.
The hard reality is that most hospitals and clinics are still lacking the kits required for large scale testing, so your doctor is the one who will make the call on whether or not to order the test.
Your Personal Benefits Manager has the Answers
Whether you are on a traditional health insurance plan or are a member of a health sharing organization, the specific preventative benefits that are available to you will vary by plan and provider. Your personal insurance expert is the key to all sorts of information that can illuminate you as to what kind of preventative services you are already eligible for.
Or, if you find that your current plan is no longer doing the trick, they can tell you what your options are in a way that will let you make the final call.
In times like these, your health insurance plan or health sharing program might turn out to be more important than you ever thought it could be. If you have any questions at all about your coverage or options, don’t hesitate to call.
Now, more than ever, your health means the world to us. To all our friends and clients: stay healthy, stay happy, and stay informed. We will be here to help … any way we can.
To your health and wealth,
Wiley P. Long, III
President – HSA for America
The HSA for America Maximize Your HSA Newsletter is published monthly and emailed to subscribers at no charge. Subscribe now to stay on top of the critical information you need to know about health insurance, healthshare plans and managing your finances to achieve financial security.
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