Your Health Insurance Coverage
When most people purchase health insurance or enroll in a plan via their employer, the expectation is that the premium they pay will provide protection in the event of illness or injury. However, not all medical care costs are paid for under typical insurance agreements!
In many cases, science has shown that alternative therapies like acupuncture and herbal medicine can be used in conjunction with traditional allopathic or conventional medicine to achieve improved results. However, insurance companies are reluctant to pay for these types of procedures. In many cases, anything provided outside of a doctor’s office or hospital will likely have to be paid for out of pocket. This can be especially frustrating for those looking to reduce their dependence on pharmaceutical drugs.
Perhaps surprisingly, prenatal and pregnancy care is not considered a routine part of most insurance policies. A special rider can be purchased to cover pregnancy costs, but only if it is done in advance of the actual pregnancy. Insurance companies consider pregnancy to be a preexisting condition! Health insurance coverage for pregnant women can be hard to get. Women who are interested in choosing a midwife or preparing for a home birth may also struggle to get these alternative medical solutions approved by an insurance company, even when covered.
In many cases insurance companies are reluctant to cover the cost of preventative tests which are not considered “medically necessary.” In many cases preventative care is an important part of maintaining optimal health, and this reluctance on the part of many insurance companies may have a negative impact on overall policy holder health! However, lobbying group have managed to get insurance to pay for some routine procedures like PAP smears, mammograms, and colonoscopies.
In some cases it may be possible to purchase an insurance rider that will give discounted rates on eyeglasses and vision tests. However, any additional amount must still be paid by the patient. Unless you replace your glasses or contacts more than once a year, the additional premium required to access such services may not be worth the cost. Like dental care, vision is a field in which patients are primarily on their own.
Even with an HMO rider, dental care can be frustrating to pay for. Insurance companies will generally cover preventative care such as teeth cleaning and x-rays, and may cover most of the costs for crown or bridges as well as some orthodontic work. However, they will not pay for more modern procedures designed to replace these techniques, such as titanium implants and alternative types of braces. In addition, many dental riders will only cover up to a certain amount – say $2500 – each year.
Before choosing an insurance plan, be sure to look at all of the procedures that are specifically not covered by the policy. This type of information will be useful later on when you are trying to get the company to cover health care you desperately need – so read the fine print!
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