What To Do If You Don't Have Health Insurance, Part 3

Mary Ann HodorowiczBy Mary Ann Hodorowicz RD, LDN, MBA, CDE, CEC

This is part 3 and the last of our articles on what to do if you do not have health care insurance. In our previous article, we talked about the state-based health care "exchange" plans created under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as "Obamacare," set to begin in early 2014. There have been some problems with the website (www.healthcare.gov) that has been created for individual enrollment in one of the four different plans (bronze, silver, gold and platinum; see part 2 for more information). The good news is that the problems are being fixed, so the health plan shopping and enrollment functions will be ready on the Internet very soon!

The other problem that you may have heard about is that some Americans (about 5 percent) are receiving plan cancellation notices from their current health insurance companies. The reason for this is that these plans do not fulfill all ten of the broad categories of the ‘essential health benefits' to be provided with no copayment or coinsurance (in other words, for free) by plans created after September 23, 2010. The two benefit categories that are usually excluded in plans created before 9-23-10 are pediatric care and maternity care. If you have received one of these notices, it is important to read the all the other material included with it. Why? Because the insurance company provides information about the other plans it offers, plans you can sign up for that do include all ten EHB categories. Note that there are frequency, dosage, age, population, and other eligibility conditions that apply to EHBs.



  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
  • Alcohol misuse screening and counseling
  • Aspirin use to prevent cardiovascular disease
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Cholesterol screening
  • Colorectal cancer screening
  • Depression screening
  • Diabetes (type 2) screening for adults with high blood pressure
  • Diet counseling for adults at higher risk for chronic disease
  •  HIV screening
  • Immunization vaccines
  • Obesity screening and counseling
  • Sexually transmitted infection prevention counseling
  • Syphilis screening
  • Tobacco use screening and cessation interventions

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Last Modified Date: March 25, 2014

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by Brenda Bell
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...
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