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Many people are still unsure of what exactly healthcare reform entails, specifically what it means for them personally. With so many rumors shrouding this law, we wanted to inform you of five truths you may not have already known. Under the Affordable Care Act, the following has already or will occur:

1.       A long list of preventative services must be offered for free, without co-payments. This list includes physical exams, mammograms, colonoscopies, various vaccinations, cholesterol and blood pressure screenings and a variety of other medical services for both adults and children.

2.       Insurers can no longer deny you coverage or suddenly drop you if you are or become ill or injured, nor can they charge you more if your health is less than perfect. Previously, it was determined that one in five adults under age 65 has a pre-existing condition that could have disqualified them from coverage, but that can no longer happen. Now, insurers can only base premiums on your age, where you live and whether or not you use tobacco products.

3.       Insurers previously charged women up to 40 percent more than what they charged men for the same health coverage, which can no longer happen. Starting in 2014, women cannot be charged more and their health coverage must include maternity care, breastfeeding supplies, mammograms, pap smears, bone density screenings, colonoscopies and more. Birth control will also be offered at no cost.

4.       Insurers are being forced to cover more of your health expenses. In fact, they must spend at least 80 percent of every premium dollar on medical care and can only use 20 percent for the costs of administration, advertising, etc. If insurers exceed this 20 percent rule, they must reimburse the excess back to customers.

5.       Employers are now given more encouragement than ever to promote health and wellness in the workplace, which can be a stressful environment for employees. Many employers are now being given grants to instate a wellness program, in which participants can receive discounts or rewards from their employer of up to 30 percent of the cost of their healthcare premium.

You can’t take care of anything or anyone unless you take care of yourself first. Call HomeStar Insurance Services at 815-352-4655 for more information on Kankakee health insurance.

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