November is American Diabetes Month, a time to bring greater awareness and attention to issues surrounding this condition. If you are diagnosed with diabetes and have existing coverage, you may be wondering how the health care reform affects you and your health care. You may see improvements in your plan – and even lower costs.
With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, here are some of the ways the law can benefit you:
- Adults with diabetes cannot be denied of coverage because of their condition. This is also true for individuals with other chronic conditions.
- New health plans won’t be able to charge premiums based on your health condition.
- All plans now provide essential benefits and preventive care including type 2 diabetes screening, obesity screening and counselling, nutrition counselling, blood pressure screening, and gestational diabetes screening for pregnant women. If you have private insurance, you can get these preventive services without paying a copayment or coinsurance. You can even get these before you pay your deductible.
- If you are enrolled in a grandfathered plan, or plans that existed before March 2010, your plan has not substantially changed. Review your plan’s summary of benefits to see if you can get free preventive care services.
- New health plans can no longer limit the amount they spend toward your care. They also can’t cancel your policy to avoid paying for your care.
The Affordable Care Act also benefits children. The new law no longer allows carrier to turn away children under the age 19 with chronic conditions such as diabetes. Families with children who have diabetes can get coverage. Young adults with diabetes or other pre-existing conditions can stay on their parents’ plan until age 26.
You can buy insurance through the Marketplace or work with a certified insurance agent. You may be eligible to get help to pay for your insurance when you enrol through the Marketplace. Compare plans and premiums and ask questions before making any purchase. You may also qualify for Medicaid depending on where you live and how much money you make in a year.