We’re starting a campaign to be healthcare literate: Know how your insurance plan works for you, and own your health story.
Last year, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) reported that one in three sufferers of psoriasis have trouble covering all the costs associated with their care. The reason why is health insurance – did you need to guess?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, known commonly as Obamacare is still in effect following the failure of Congress under President Trump to enact a new healthcare reform bill. The best thing you can do to protect yourself from tax penalties and other harm from remaining uninsured is to find your plan.
So, what do I need to know?
If you need coverage:
The open enrollment period ended on January 31st of this year but you can still enroll or renew your current ACA plan if…
- You qualify for a special circumstance enrollment, or
- You qualify for Medicaid or certain other special assistance programs provided by your state
Healthcare insurers can no longer turn you away for a preexisting condition. When signing up for your plan in the healthcare marketplace, ask your broker detailed questions about your estimated monthly premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs. Be sure to have your prescription and physician information handy.
Use HealthCare.gov’s Plan Finder tool to see what’s available in your state and choose plan works best for you. Each state and the District of Columbia maintains its own health insurance marketplace.
Everyone, including the system, wants to help you become insured. You may qualify for financial assistance toward your plan: calculate your earnings here to see if you qualify.
What should I do?
Psoriasis patients know that prescription medications and treatments can be costly. When choosing a plan on your healthcare marketplace, research your coverage widely. Check whether your prescriptions, treatments, and visits are covered, and measure those costs against your premium and expenditures from the deductible specific to your plan.
Research what’s out there and create a list of medication to ask your care practitioner about.
Looking for further ways to cut corners? For tips, EveryDayHealth consulted Dr. Colby Evans, the chair of NPF’s National Phototherapy Copayment Task Force (hardly a mouthful!), that is designated to investigate the rising costs of psoriasis treatments. Prescription medications and therapy treatments can run into the tens of thousands of dollars per year, but don’t get discouraged! There’s a lot you can do to stave off some of the costs.
Go for generics: Ask your care provider for recommended medications that will work best for you and your wallet. Shop around for generic prescription labels – and for your pharmacy.
Go for home therapy alternatives: Skip the copay in visits to your doctor for light therapy treatments and opt for a home phototherapy unit instead. Browse some of the top of the line models and consult your care provider on the one that’s right for you.
Go for more options, not less: The right treatment is out there for you, it just takes time to find. Shop around and ask for samples before you decide to invest in a whole new regimen.