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Ten (good!) surprises about health insurance

Open Enrollment for health insurance has begun: Nov. 1 - Dec. 15, 2017. That means any American can enroll in a health plan without a qualifying life event like getting married, changing jobs or having a baby. Could this change? We'll continue you to update you.

Here are some nice-to-know things about your current (or brand new!) health plan:

1) If you’re in an HMO, you can refer yourself to a specialist

Until a few years ago, you couldn’t see a specialist in your Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) unless you received a referral from your Primary Care Physician. Now, with many plans, you can give a “self-referral” and see whoever you like in your network.

2) You’re not limited to your local health network

You may have noticed your state in the title of your health network. But if you drive across country and need medical services, you gain instant access to the national version of your network with most carriers. That comes in handy if you’re sending your kids (who are on your plan until age 26) off to college in another state.

3) Schedule that physical today – it’s free.

Really, go ahead – we’ll wait! All health insurance plans are required to pay the entire cost of an annual wellness visit as long as you stay within your recommended schedule of tests and examinations. Children’s wellness visits are free too.

4) Your new baby is covered automatically for 30 days

You have a lot to keep track of during the first month after your child’s arrival. Good news for the sleep-deprived: your child is retroactively covered as long as you enroll in health insurance by Day 30.

5) Choosing to breastfeed? Your plan helps out.

All health insurance plans are required to provide support to new mothers who make the choice to breastfeed. This includes providing a breast pump and supplies free of charge.

6) Your doctor’s bill may not show your discount

Save yourself a freak-out when you take your first peek at a physician or ER bill. The cost of your care is discounted by your health insurance plan … but you may not see the final tally until you get an Explanation of Benefits (a statement sent by your health insurance company explaining what treatments and services they paid for).

7) Get advice (and sometimes meds) on speed dial

Many insurance plans provide free 24-7 “dial a nurse” or “dial a doctor” lines where you can receive instant medical advice on a health issue. In some cases, a doctor can even diagnose you and prescribe what you need over the phone.

8) Counseling isn’t just a “nice-to-have”

Mental health counseling and treatment for addiction and other high risk behaviors are considered “minimum essential benefits” that all health plans are required to provide.

9) Would you like some Dental with that?

If you have ongoing dental issues that require surgery or regular procedures, you may be able to save money with a health plan that gives your teeth a brighter future too.

10) You may have a tax credit coming (want to see?)

Your household may qualify for a tax credit to make the cost of your health plan more affordable. (Plug: if you shop for insurance through Mylo, our handy calculator lets you see the amount on the spot.)

If you need help navigating the maze of health insurance options, call the friendly licensed agents at Mylo! We look forward to helping you out, even if you just want advice.

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