Early this year, KXAN reported a spike in flu cases at Austin hospitals. According to the CDC, 85 children died across the country during the 2015-2016 flu season. The CDC doesn’t track how many adults die from influenza each year. To prevent yourself and members of your family from falling ill, being hospitalized, and missing work and school, be sure to get a flu shot. The CDC recommendations for 2016 include getting vaccinated before the end of October. If you’re wondering whether the Affordable Care Act will cover the injection, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) says your health insurance company is required to cover flu shots without charging a copayment, but you may need to visit a specific facility.
“Some insurance plans only cover vaccines given by your doctor or at a limited set of locations,” says the HHS.
Here are three more reasons for Austin, Texas, residents to sign up for Obamacare during the 2017 Open Enrollment period or pursue cheaper alternatives.
As healthcare.gov says, “No one plans to get sick or hurt, but most people need medical care at some point.” If you get into an accident while driving to or from work in downtown Austin, and you don’t have health insurance, you could wind up having to pay a few thousand dollars for an emergency room visit or tens of thousands of dollars for long-term care.
Heath care plans vary, but all of them at least partially cover the following:
• Emergency room visits
• Outpatient care
• Inpatient care
• Lab tests
• Prescription drugs
• Rehabilitation services, such as physical therapy and psychiatrist appointments
• Dental and vision care
• Pre- and postnatal care
• Substance abuse rehab
• Preventive services, such as screenings and vaccinations
In case you’re still on the fence about whether you want to part with a monthly payment, obamacarefacts.com states “[m]ore than half of consumers who … signed up for 2015 Marketplace coverage selected a plan with a monthly premium of $100 or less after tax credits.” That $100 per month is a lot less than you’ll spend if you’re hospitalized after a car accident and, unfortunately, odds aren’t in your favor. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, someone was injured in an accident every two minutes and eight seconds in 2015.
Additionally, 550 pedestrians and 51 cyclists were killed in 2015, so don’t think that avoiding driving makes you safe.
Some Colleges Require Health Insurance
Not only does the federal government charge a penalty for not having health insurance, some universities require students to have their own plan or remain enrolled on their parents’ policy. If you’ll be attending the University of Texas at Austin, St. Edward’s University, or any of the other colleges in the area, contact the admissions department to see how the Affordable Care Act affects you.
It’s the Law
The Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health insurance. If you don’t, you’ll have to pay a penalty come tax time.
“For tax year 2016, the penalty will rise to 2.5% of your total household adjusted gross income, or $695.00 per adult and $347.50 per child, to a maximum of $2,085.00,” according to NerdWallet.
Should You Sign up for Obamacare During the 2017 Open Enrollment Period?
Health insurance is a wise investment. But if you don’t feel like you can afford any of the plans on the Health Care marketplace, contact Freeway Insurance. Our friendly, knowledgeable representatives will help you find a plan that fits your budget. You may even qualify for free insurance. Contact us for a free health insurance quote today.