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Learn about your health insurance options. Get information about private insurance plans, Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs to help you pay for your medical expenses.
There are many prescription drug plans available to people enrolled in Medicare. Each plan varies in cost and coverage. Medicare, Medicaid, many states, and drug companies have programs to help people pay for their prescription drugs.
The 2010 Affordable Care Act will reform health insurance, over several years. Some new provisions are already in place; most changes will take effect by 2014. This law holds insurance companies more accountable, expands coverage for young adults, offers small-business tax credits, and provides access to insurance for uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions.
States decide on the benefits provided under Medicaid, but Medicaid usually provides health care for low-income children and families, and people with disabilities. Covered services usually include doctor visits, hospital care, vaccinations, prescription drugs, vision, hearing, long-term care, and preventive care for children.
Medicare is a government health insurance plan for people 65 or older, people under 65 with certain disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease. Medicare helps to pay for care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and some home health care. Coverage can also include doctors’ services and prescription drugs.
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) can help you temporarily keep your health insurance even though you left your job. Eligibility for the program is based on the reason you left your job, and even if you get to keep your insurance, you may be required to pay the entire premium for coverage.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides free or low-cost health coverage for low-income children. Each state decides on the benefits provided under CHIP, but all states cover routine check-ups, immunizations, hospital care, dental care, and lab and x-ray services.
If your health insurer has denied coverage for medical care you received, you have the right to appeal the claim, and ask that the company reverse that decision. You can be your own health care advocate. Follow these five steps:
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: June 13, 2013