Health insurance is often seen as a necessary expense to cover the costs of medical care. However, did you know that health insurance offers a variety of surprising benefits beyond just covering medical bills? In this blog post, we'll explore 10 unexpected benefits of health insurance that you may not have known about.
- Preventive care services are often free
Several health insurance plans cover preventive care services, such as annual physicals and mammograms. In addition, preventive care services are often free: Many health insurance plans provide complimentary preventive care services, such as annual physicals, mammograms, and flu shots. These services can help detect health issues early on and prevent more serious illnesses from developing. In addition, under the ACA, most health insurance plans need to offer coverage for preventive care services without cost-sharing, which means you won't have to pay a co-pay, co-insurance, or deductible for these services.
- Mental health services are often covered
Many health insurance plans also cover mental health services, such as therapy and counseling, at a reduced cost. Mental health services can be expensive without insurance, so having coverage can make it easier for individuals to access the care they need. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act requires most health insurance plans to provide equal coverage for mental health services such as medical and surgical services.
- Wellness programs and discounts
Some health insurance plans offer wellness programs and deals on gym memberships, weight loss programs, and other healthy lifestyle activities. These programs and discounts can incentivize individuals to maintain a healthy lifestyle and improve their health.
- Access to prescription drugs
Health insurance plans often cover prescription drugs, which can be expensive without insurance. This can be especially beneficial for individuals who require long-term medication to manage chronic conditions. Some health insurance plans may also offer mail-order pharmacy services, saving you time and money.
- Protection from high medical bills
A medical emergency or severe illness can result in significant financial strain without health insurance. Health insurance protects you from high medical bills and can provide peace of mind knowing you're covered in an unexpected medical event.
- Access to a network of healthcare providers
Many health insurance plans offer access to a network of healthcare providers, including doctors, hospitals, and specialists. This can make finding healthcare providers and scheduling appointments easier, saving you time and hassle. In-network providers may also offer lower costs than out-of-network providers.
- Coverage for pre-existing conditions
Health insurance plans cannot refuse to pay or charge higher premiums due to prior conditions under the ACA. This means that people with pre-existing conditions can still get affordably priced health insurance coverage. This provision has been critical for individuals with chronic diabetes or heart disease.
- Coverage for dependents
Many health insurance plans offer coverage for dependents, including children and spouses. This can be especially beneficial for families who cannot afford individual coverage for each family member. Under the ACA, dependent coverage is required until age 26, even if the dependent is married, not living with their parents, or not financially dependent on their parents.
- Access to medical information and resources
Health insurance companies often provide access to medical information and resources, such as online health libraries and nurse hotlines. These resources can provide valuable information and guidance on medical issues and help individuals make informed decisions about their health. Some health insurance plans may also offer wellness programs, such as weight loss or smoking cessation programs, which can provide additional resources and support.
- Tax benefits
Individuals who purchase health insurance through the ACA marketplace may be eligible for tax credits to help reduce the cost of premiums. Health savings accounts (HSAs) also offer tax benefits for individuals who save money for medical expenses. Contributions to HSAs are tax-deductible, and withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are tax-free. This can provide significant tax savings for individuals who anticipate high medical costs.
In conclusion, health insurance offers a variety of surprising benefits beyond just covering medical bills. From free preventive care services to access to a network of healthcare providers, health insurance can improve your overall health and provide peace of mind in case of an unexpected medical event. If you're not currently enrolled in health insurance, consider exploring your options to take advantage of these benefits.