Congrats, You Have Insurance—Now What?

credit: Google CC

credit: Google CC

While politicians were deep into their head-butting struggle last week, the Affordable Care Act (a/k/a Obamacare) officially went into effect. If you’re already covered under your employer, chances are your situation will remain the same. If you were uninsured before, however, you’ll have a new range of plan options to choose from.

Ideally, widely available low-cost healthcare can help us move toward becoming a culture of prevention—instead of waiting for the high-costs of critical care, more people will be able to take their health into their own hands. And many insurance plans will now fully cover preventive health services like routine checkups and well visits.

But while the ACA may put affordable coverage in your hands, there are still limits. Here are some things to keep in mind as you start down the road to managed-care wellness.

Preventative vs. diagnostic

The word “preventative” is important to keep in mind—if your healthcare practitioner orders a blood test, it might not be covered under certain circumstances, because it is considered diagnostic, not preventative. For example, blood tests to identify diabetes are covered, but if abnormalities are found, the patient would be responsible for at least some of the cost. As Dr. Roland Goertz of the American Academy of Family Physicians puts it, “if you have symptoms, it’s diagnostic and you’ll most likely pay part of the bill. If you have no symptoms, it’s covered.”

This distinction creates additional roadblocks against early detection: more hassle and increased cost.

Limited provider options

Under the new laws, many insurance companies will limit their in-network coverage only to healthcare providers who agree to providing significant discounts for their services, with no out-of-network coverage at all. This means that if you want to see a specific doctor—or an alternative practitioner like a naturopath or dietitian—you may be responsible for 100% of the costs.

Bypass insurance limitations with WellnessFX

For diagnostic services like blood testing and lab work that may not be fully covered by insurance, it makes sense look for simple, high-quality, and inexpensive options. For as little as $29, the preventative WellnessFX e-Checkup gives you access to a blood draw that tests more than 25 biomarkers, which you can get through your local LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics branch. If imbalances are detected through that test, WellnessFX offers additional diagnostic packages at a discounted rate.

Once you’ve completed your lab testing, you’ll receive a full online report, with all of your lab values visualized into easy-to-read charts that are accessible 24/7. And if you take advantage of the two-for-one offer, you’ll be able to see trends—allowing you to view and understand how key markers of your health are changing over time. This can help you and your doctor work to prevent long-term, chronic disease, and potentially save thousands of dollars in treatment costs.

If you’d like to discuss your lab results or your general health, WellnessFX has an excellent team of medical practitioners—including MDs, dietitians, and naturopaths—for you to choose from to provide you thorough, informed, and inexpensive consultations via video conference. And even better, you’ll be able to see them on your schedule, allowing you to spend more time at home or work, and not in a waiting room.

WellnessFX products are also HSA eligible, so if you participate in an HSA plan, you can use those funds to uncover valuable information about your health.

Wellness is cumulative—it can be achieved by making changes in the way we live, eat, work, and play in response to imbalance in our bodies. If you detect that something is “off,” it’s time to take your health into your own hands, no matter what insurance premiums or riders state. Working with WellnessFX allows you to bypass the complexities of the insurance system and get direct access to the health support you need.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.