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Insurance

Why Health Insurance Covering Birth Control Is Essential For Reproductive Rights? 

Insurance and Birth Control

Isn’t it a little funny that uteruses are making policymakers, insurance companies, and lobbyists extremely squeamish? But why is it so? Not to mention, 50.8 percent of citizens in the United States are female as well as a large majority of us happen to have a uterus. (Even though a uterus does not make a woman) Still, people with uteruses are struggling every day to acquire the care they require, especially when it comes to requesting their insurance firms to pay for the care they require for health and wellbeing.

In the year 2010, the Affordable Care Act, also known as ACA, highlighted one of the most vital steps in women’s health & public policy since…1965. Ouch. It not just aided more women to access health insurance and lowered the total expense but also provided coverage for numerous essential items such as birth control and mammograms.

Although ACA is a game-changer for citizens with uteruses, it does not quite change enough of the game. For instance, those suffering from infertility are most often overlooked. As a result, they struggle to find a single plan that provides coverage processes including In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). That clearly calls out for the need for full coverage of sexual as well as reproductive health for all individuals, no matter uteruses or not.

Birth Control Is Not Just Pregnancy Prevention!

Let’s begin with a very basic element of reproductive care, that is hormonal contraception. 

Colloquially that is often referred to as ‘the pill,’ the very first oral contraceptive was approved by the FDA in the year 1960. 

Truth be told, birth control has come a long way since then. However, the general and clear understanding of its importance in people’s minds has not properly evolved.

Also Read: Menopause: Here’s Everything You Must Know

There is actually nothing wrong if a person uses hormonal birth control for preventing conception. Excuse me, it is what it is there for! Having said that, people with uteruses have the full right to decide when they wish to get pregnant. But recommending that pregnancy prevention is its only usage is erroneous. Hormonal birth control is also beneficial in the following cases:

  • To regulate menstrual cycles
  • To relieve period pain
  • To reduce acne
  • To lower the risks of cancer
  • To minimize symptoms of PMS and PMDD
  • To manage endometriosis
  • To fight menstrual migraines

Also, birth control is a lifesaver for people with reproductive various disorders & diseases. It certainly helps them go to school or work and pay their bills. In essence, it lets them have a better quality of life that is not at all dominated by pain.

Meanwhile, insurance providers have a love-hate relationship with the pill (and various other forms of contraception). Under the ACA, they should provide coverage for birth control at full-cost with some exceptions. However, as the ACA faces more challenges in the courts, including at the higher level, it is increasingly not clear if the contraception rules will survive or not. Even the issue has gotten murkier with the demise of Justice Antonin Scalia and President Trump sticking his nose in.

Birth Control Must Be Free 

Birth control has a long list of uses, and each one is different for the individual who takes it. At its core, though, it is one of the essential forms of preventative healthcare. Due to this birth control must be free of cost, no matter if it is accessed with or without insurance.

Also Read: Maternity Insurance Coverage

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), there are 62 million people in the United States in their childbearing years. Out of those, 70 percent are at high risk of getting pregnant unplanned or unintended. 

Most individuals normally use contraception for almost a third of their lives. The total/exact financial expense of this long-term contraception use increase as well. Unintended pregnancies negatively impact both lower-income workers and people of color.

When a price is put on birth control, people have to decide whether to use hormonal contraception or whether to go for other everyday expenses, such as pay their rent, raise food, or pay off their utilities. And these prices are much higher for people on a low-income, however, the price is not just related to the cost upon purchase. 

According to a recent study, the women in the United States said that using birth control helps them to do things, including:

  • Support themselves financially
  • Take better care of their families
  • Keep or get a new job
  • Finish school

The financial benefits also increase to society. The cost of unplanned pregnancies is $12 billion a year. Most of those are often paid using Medicaid. Medicaid covered 43 percent of all births in the year 2017.

Also Read: Difference Between Medicare And Medicaid

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Miscellaneous

Affordable Care Act: Everything You Must Know 

If you are here to know about ACA, that is, the Affordable Care Act, then stick till the end of this blog. 

Affordable Care Act

Affordable Care Act

Let’s start with what is ACA? It is a comprehensive healthcare reform signed into law by President Barack Obama in the year 2010. 

Formally referred to as the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act—and simply Obamacare—this law particularly includes a wide range of health-related provisions. The only intention of this law is to extend health insurance coverage to millions of uninsured American citizens

The Act expanded Medicaid eligibility, designed health insurance exchanges, and avoided insurance firms from refusing coverage (or charging more) because of pre-existing conditions. 

The act even allows children to remain on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26.

Understanding ACA Clearly!

The Affordable Care Act was created to cut down the total expense of health insurance coverage for qualified individuals. 

The act includes premium tax credits as well as expense-sharing reductions to aid lower costs for lower-income people as well as families.

Premium tax credits typically lower a person’s health insurance bill every month. Expense-sharing reductions ultimately lower his or her out-of-pocket expenses for deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. 

They can even lower your out-of-pocket maximum—the total cost you pay in a year for covered health costs.

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Every ACA-compliant health insurance plan—including plans that are sold on the Health Insurance Marketplace—should cover particular “necessary health benefits” such as:

  • Ambulatory patient services
  • Breastfeeding
  • Emergency services
  • Family planning
  • Hospitalization
  • Laboratory services
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services
  • Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care
  • Prescription medications
  • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services

In addition to this, the Affordable Care Act needs most insurance plans (such as those sold on the Marketplace) to provide coverage at no cost to policyholders a list of preventive services. 

These services mainly include checkups, patient counseling, immunizations, and various health screenings.

Special Consideration

A considerable portion of the Affordable Care Act was an individual mandate, a provision asking all American citizens to acquire healthcare coverage—either from an employer or through the ACA or another source—or accept rising harsh tax penalties. 

This mandate gave out the double purpose of providing healthcare to uninsured Americans and making sure that there’s a sufficiently broad pool of insured people to support health-insurance payouts.

In the year 2017, in his very first executive order after taking office, President Donald Trump highlighted his intention to defund the Affordable Care Act. He even said that the executive agency heads must delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that will impose a fiscal burden on any State.

The aim of this order signaled the initial phase of Republican efforts to reverse and replace the ACA.

Rolling back the law was one of Trump’s central campaign promises that had the purpose of cutting down the fiscal burden on the government.

Also Read: Everything about Blue Cross Blue Shield

In the year 2017, the government’s attempts to repeal the law completely were not successful. But the government significantly scaled back its outreach plan to aid Americans to sign up for the ACA as well as cut the enrollment period in half.

Numerous amendments were made to the law that addressed some of the objections that were raised by various opponents. They still kept the Marketplace open active for every user. 

For instance, as part of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, Congress in the year 2017 eliminated the penalty for not acquiring health insurance. 

Starting with 2019 taxes, the individual mandate was cut down to zero dollars, necessarily cutting down the requirement that numerous Republicans had opposed.

By the year 2018, the number of American citizens covered under the ACA severely dropped from 17.8 in 2015 to 13.8 in 2015, as per the report from healthcare research organization KFF.

In the following year, the Trump administration said that it will consider repealing the complete Affordable Care Act.

In a letter, the Justice Department told the federal appeals court that it agreed with a federal judge in Texas who defined the healthcare law unconstitutional and even added that it will support the judgment on appeal.

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The aforementioned case is anticipated to go to the Supreme Court with a coalition of 21 attorneys general defending the Affordable Care Act. Besides, also in the year 2019, House Democrats presented legislation to support the Act as well as increase the coverage.

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Insurance

Health Insurance Lost? Here’s What You Should Do! 

Health Insurance Lost

There may be people out there who lost their job-related health insurance amid the COVID-19 crisis. If you are also one of them, then you should take action as quickly as possible.

Numerous options have time-limited deadlines, ranging from 30 to 60 days from the loss of coverage, hence it is important to promptly secure the documents, including proof of job & health insurance loss, which are usually required while applying for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Medicaid. And since over 16 million people have applied for unemployment insurance lately, many will also be trying to acquire health insurance.

Also Read: Doctors Not Accepting Your Medicare? Here’s What You Can Do!

So, if you experience loss of income as well as have been paying for your own insurance under the ACA, then you have an option to revise your estimated yearly income & perhaps acquire a subsidy as well as lower premiums.

Here’s What The Cares Act Offers

Federal & state responses to the pandemic crisis can have only a fixed effect on individual healthcare expenses

The CARES Act, the $2.2 trillion package signed into law on March 27, 2020, needs health insurers to provide coverage for COVID-19 testing (and a vaccine when it becomes available) without cost-sharing (deductibles, copays). Also, it expands insurance coverage for telehealth visits. 

The cost of total treatment for COVID-19 is not covered but if you visit an emergency room or need hospitalization, coronavirus care may be really expensive. 

An admission for pneumonia (which is a common complication of coronavirus) costs just under $10,000 with no complications, and up to $20,292 with main complications or comorbidity. 

Also, people with employer-based health insurance usually face more than $1,300 in out-of-pocket costs. A few insurance companies including Aetna, announced that until June 1, 2020, most of its customers were not supposed to pay copayments as well as other forms of cost-sharing for coronavirus care.

Recently, the White House declared that it would utilize money in the CARES Act to reimburse hospitals for coronavirus care for almost 28 million non-elderly American citizens who are uninsured. Here, the fear is that uninsured people are hesitant to get checked if they feel ill that can result in a greater spread of the infection. The secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar said hospitals will be reimbursed at Medicare rates as well as those who accepted funds will be barred from billing the patients involved. 

The total expenses of treatment for non-virus related medical care are, of course, not impacted. A person may still require health insurance to cover doctor, hospital, and prescription drug expenses.

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Here’s how if you have recently lost job-based insurance can acquire insurance now. 

Coordinate With The Employer

The whole situation is emerging rapidly. A few companies including Macy’s, are still paying health insurance for furloughed employees. And others are providing to subsidize COBRA coverage for a limited period. 

The CARES Act has numerous provisions to incentivize employers to handle their employees including employee retention credits. Hence, stay connected to know about the plans of your company. Also, stay in touch with your former employer to acquire the documents you require to verify your dismissal as well as the loss of health insurance. 

Join the Family Member’s Policy 

In case, your spouse or parents (if you are under 26 years old) own a health insurance policy, then you should probably consider joining it during the 30 days after you lose your health insurance coverage. Often this involves additional premium expenses for your spouse or parents, however, will probably be among the least expensive options for replacement coverage for you. 

Sign Up For Medicaid 

Medicaid is considered the nation’s largest health insurer. It provides enrollees health insurance that is, on most measures, as good as (and often better than) private coverage. Based on where a person lives in, Medicaid can be an available, low-cost option, or let’s say “impossibly difficult to get”. The exceptional route to check Medicaid eligibility is to visit Medicaid.org and just select your state. 

Also Read: Difference Between Medicare And Medicaid

Purchase Short-Term Health Insurance 

If you are unable to purchase coverage through a special enrollment period or other means, then short-term health insurance is worth considering. 

These policies are directly purchased from insurance firms as well as brokers in states where they are available. All you need to do is search “limited duration health insurance” along with your state name will show a list of possible organizations. 

Short-term insurance can be even kept for up to one year. And if you plan to use short-term insurance as a bridge, then be careful about setting an end date. 

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Insurance

5 Best Dental Insurance for Your Little One

Best Dental Insurance

Best Dental Insurance: More than adults, children require a regular drill of brushing, caring and flossing their gums and teeth. In most of the cases, even brushing every day is not enough to maintain your kid’s teeth healthy. The main reason causing tooth decay or cavity problem to children is the leftover food which leads to bacterial growth. 

The infected region on the surface of the teeth is termed as cavities. If not treated at the earliest, these damaged regions can form holes in your kid’s tooth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 20% of children aged between 5 to 11 suffer dental issues including cavity & decaying.    

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Without any second thought, you should definitely purchase a dental insurance plan for your kid. Today, you have an ample number of dental insurance companies providing dental insurance plans, especially for kids. Most of these plans also offer free regular cleaning schemes as well as dental checkups. 

The interesting part is that under the Affordable Care Act, children’s dental treatments are necessary for all children under the age of 18. Affordable Care Act clearly states that every health insurance for children should offer dental services. Hence, dental benefits for kids can be a part of health insurance or else can be a different plan. 

There are many plans in the market which is why the dental coverage for kids differs from plan to plan. The insurance provider, as well as the state of the borrower, plays a vital role in the coverage options. 

Nearly all dental plans for kids provide 100% coverage for:

  • Regular checkups 
  • Cleaning services 
  • Preventive care in order to protect your child’s tooth from decaying 

You would not pay an extra penny from your pocket for the above-mentioned services. Most people prefer a plan that assures 100% coverage.  

Other than this, children’s dental insurance coverage also includes:

  • Fluoride treatments: To stop tooth decay
  • Tooth fillings: To heal cavities 
  • Orthodontics, like braces: to straighten teeth 

Also Read: Business Health Insurance 2020

There is no shortage of options for children’s dental insurance plans.  Although there are some companies in the market that do not provide children specific insurance plans but instead they offer plans for pediatric dental treatments under a family dental coverage plan. Before you choose a plan for your kid, make sure you read the whole policy thoroughly. 

Best Dental Coverage

Now, let’s know about the cost as it is also one of the major aspects when you buy insurance. The average rate of personal dental insurance (adult) is $ 350 per year. Talking about children’s personal dental insurance, they are comparatively less expensive. 

COMPANY STARTING COST OVERALL RATING (out of 5)
Delta Dental $ 16/month 4.8
Guardian Dental $ 20/month 4.5
Humana $ 40/month 3.5
United Healthcare $ 21/month 4.5
MetLife $ 32/month 4

Many dental plans ask you to undertake a waiting period before you use the services & before you turn eligible to enjoy your insurance benefits. But again, the waiting period differs from plan to plan. In fact, there are plans that do not offer you a waiting period which means you can visit the dentist straight away once your policy sets in place. 

Most waiting periods are up to six months. A more costly insurance plan offers a less waiting period compared to a less costly one. 

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We all hate to regret about our own decisions. Therefore, keep the following points in mind & thoroughly examine each one of them while purchasing a dental plan for your child: 

  • Monthly or premium of coverage
  • How much of each treatment do you will have to cover out from your pocket? 
  • Annual limits on your benefits
  • Availability of the plan in your state/local area
  • Stability of the insurance company 
  • Children-specific dental plans of the insurance company
  • Availability of plan covering the treatment that your child may need 

As an intelligent borrower, you should study numerous providers before finally considering one. Before selecting your insurance company, research the following points:

  • how long the company been in the business 
  • the vision & motto of the company
  • 3rd party opinions from some actual customers 
  • Their customer service
  • Availability of online account management, mobile apps & 24*7 customer helplines 

So that you are clear about Children Dental Insurance plans now, let’s know some of the best dental insurance for kids:

  1. GUARDIAN DENTAL- Affordable out of all
  2. UNITED HEALTHCARE- Offers the best plan options
  3. HUMANA- Best option for Increased Coverage over time
  4. DELTA DENTAL- Best option for child-specific coverage
  5. METLIFE- Best option for family coverage

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Now, you are aware of everything related to Dental Coverage for Children. Without wasting more time, go purchase a dental insurance plan for your little one.

If you care about your kid’s smile, you will definitely get dental insurance for them!!!