Ladies, it’s a fact that our health needs are different than those of men. Due to our genetic make-up, there are many other health concerns that we must consider when choosing our health insurance plan. The future is unpredictable, so it is important that we get coverage for all our current and potential future conditions.
1. Does my health insurance plan cover health screenings recommended annually for women?
It is recommended that women have annual mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, and osteoporosis screenings beginning at a certain age. There are others important annual tests, but these tests are specific to women. The law requires that health insurance companies offer coverage for one annual mammogram for women 40 and older to prevent breast cancer. Most states mandate that insurance companies cover an annual cervical cancer screening, such as pap smears. Also, health insurance companies are required to offer coverage for annual osteoporosis screenings since they are necessary for health maintenance. Osteoporosis tests begin around age 60.
2. Does my health insurance company cover specialty doctor visits?
Most health insurance companies cover for your OB/GYN services. But it is important to check your health insurance plan to see what costs and treatments are covered because some are excluded from insurance. For example, sterilization is rarely covered by health insurance companies.
3. Will my pregnancy be covered by health insurance?
Today, the average cost of having a baby is over $6000. Health insurance companies will most often cover doctors office and hospital visit expenses (with a small co-payment). But there’s a catch: you must have health insurance before you get pregnant! Women who are already pregnant are considered “high-risk” candidates and it will be much more difficult to get coverage. Other things you may want to check with the insurance company is if they offer coverage for services during your pregnancy (associated with the pregnancy but not the typical office visits) and prescriptions for possible depression. Even if you don’t needs these, better safe than sorry!
4. What if I need infertility treatments? Is that covered?
Infertility insurance is limited, but you’re not out of luck. There are 14 states with mandates for health insurance coverage of infertility treatments. If infertility treatments are not specifically excluded form your insurance plan, you can get coverage. If needed, get a copy of your plan from your health insurance provider. Otherwise, infertility treatment coverage is also offered by private insurance companies.
5. Does my health insurance cover all of my prescription drugs?
There are many prescription pills specifically for women, such as contraceptive pills. Generally, contraceptives have not been covered by health insurance companies in their plan. But, each insurer is different. It is important to ask your provider because they may offer contraceptive coverage.
6. Is there coverage for treatment against diseases common to women?
Women are at a higher risk for osteoporosis, breast cancer, cervical cancer, and many others. It is important for women to take preventative measures in their healthcare as well as have insurance for their expenses. Vaccines are common preventative measures, such as Gardasil, a vaccine to prevent HPV and cervical cancer. Many insurance companies cover this preventative vaccine because it reduces the chance of future medical conditions. However, check with the health insurance provider you are considering before making the final decision.
It is important to get coverage before you become ill. Difficulty arises with health insurance coverage if you are already ill because the insurers many consider it a pre-existing condition. Or some companies may offer coverage for office visits and pharmacy charges, but have you on a waiting list for any other treatment coverage you may need.