As we begin the new year and consider how we want to live in 2015, it’s a great idea to consider how you want your health to be and any new health care changes coming your way. Maybe you would like to speak with a counselor about stress in your life, are expecting a new baby in the family, or are due for your first mammogram this year.
We meet with medical professionals for help and trust their expertise. But it’s also important to know your rights when it comes to your health care. HealthCare.gov shares information with us about new rights and protections we all have, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
How the health care law protects you
- Creates the Health Insurance Marketplace, a new way for individuals, families, and small businesses to get health coverage
- Requires insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing health conditions
- Helps you understand the coverage you’re getting
- Holds insurance companies accountable for rate increases
- Makes it illegal for health insurance companies to arbitrarily cancel your health insurance just because you get sick
- Protects your choice of doctors
- Covers young adults under 26
- Provides free preventive care
- Ends lifetime and yearly dollar limits on coverage of essential health benefits
Here some additional rights and benefits, and information on how to protect yourself from fraud when you apply for insurance:
- Breastfeeding equipment and support
- Birth control methods and counseling
- Mental health and substance abuse services
- Appealing a health plan decision
- Learn how to protect yourself from fraud when you apply for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
On top of what HealthCare.gov outlines as protections in the Affordable Care Act, there are protections and rights that directly support people who identify as LGBTQ. In 2014, LGBT HealthLink partnered with PROMO Missouri and lawyer Corey Prachniak to create the Healthcare Bill of Rights - a short document summarizing LGBTQ rights in the healthcare world now.
The creators of the Healthcare Bill of Rights write:
Your personal life and relationships affect your health more than you realize, so your doctor and other providers need to know your story.
We should all feel safe talking about our sexual partners, sex lives, sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity.
- Learn how to file a complaint if you’ve faced discrimination.
- See how you can find a medical provider who will respect your rights and identity.
- Read how you can plan for your future care with a healthcare power of attorney.
Read the Healthcare Bill of Rights here: