Obamacare includes a “coverage bill of rights” that helps raise the standard for all American health coverage plans.
Over ten years in, the Affordable Care Act (also known as “ACA” or “Obamacare”) has become such a major part of American life that it’s almost hard to remember that it was a truly groundbreaking- and highly controversial- law upon passage in 2010. Aside from offering more accessible healthcare options for all Americans, the ACA most notably represented an overhaul to the way Americans and American companies approach healthcare. In many disadvantaged communities, healthcare coverage was the exception, not the rule, prior the passage of ACA. Although there is still a long way to go, now that has clearly shifted drastically.
Because Obamacare represents such a major change from earlier healthcare practices, some of the smaller advances it assures are often forgotten when people discuss the law, but are no less deserving of recognition.
A shining example of this is the idea of essential health benefits. This portion of the act states that there are 10 categories of service that every type of Obamacare-compliant health insurance plan must cover. In essence, the essential health benefits package is like a health coverage Bill of Rights, giving people a guaranteed minimum expectation for any Affordable Care Act-compliant health insurance plan they purchase.
What Are The Essential Health Benefits?
The 10 benefits are as follows:
- Ambulatory Patient Services: This is more commonly called “outpatient care” or “ambulatory care”. This is any medical care a patient receives without admission into a hospital, such as urgent care.
- Emergency Services
- Hospitalization: This includes overnight stays as well as surgical care.
- Laboratory Services
- Mental Health Services: These services include behavioral health treatments such as therapy and counseling, as well as substance abuse disorder services.
- Maternity, Pregnancy, Neonatal and Postnatal Care
- Coverage for Prescription Drugs
- Habilitation and Rehabilitation Services and Devices: These are services and devices to help people obtain, maintain, or recover physical and mental skills. This covers a wide range of services, from physical therapy to speech therapy to services for differently-abled people.
- Preventative Care, Wellness Services, and Management for Chronic Diseases
- Paediatric services, including dental and eye care: This is an interesting part of the ACA essential benefits, list, as vision and oral care are not part of the adult essential health benefits.
Additional Essential Benefits
There are further benefits that should be mentioned that aren’t always included with the list of 10 “essential” benefits. Every Obamacare plan must additionally guarantee coverage for breastfeeding support and birth control. It’s also worth noting that there are 66 individual screening, assessment, and preventative care services that are fully covered by Affordable Care Act plans.
Am I Eligible For An ACA Plan With The “Essentials”?
The short answer for the majority of people is “yes!” Even if the yearly open enrollment (or perhaps, special enrollment) period has passed by, there are still other options you may pursue, such as short-term insurance or private insurance, which offer similar or better coverage options.
Our experts can help you get an affordable healthcare plan that is perfectly suited for your budget and needs. We are proud to serve the United States and have helped thousands of people obtain peace of mind through affordable health insurance plans. Click the button below or call 888-375-8879 to find the coverage options that are right for you.