5 Things Men Need to Know about the Affordable Care Act During Men’s Health Month

June is Men’s Health Month, and there are many ways that men can take care of their health this summer. Whether you plan on coaching your child’s soccer team, joining a cycling group, playing ball with the boys, or simply staying home and reclaiming your man-cave, you should also consider making the appointment for your not-so-annual yearly visit to the doctor.

To keep whole health in check, men should know these five things about the Affordable Care Act to keep themselves healthy and safe at any age:

  • PLANS PROVIDE FREE PREVENTIVE SERVICES. Plans under the Affordable Care Act allow you to get your annual checkup at no charge just to prove that you’re as healthy as you always knew you were! You can also get blood pressure screenings, diet counseling, and help for quitting smoking, among other services – completely free. Even the treadmill at the gym says it – “Consult with your physician before using this machine.” Well, this is your opportunity!
  • PLANS MUST OFFER ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS. Even if you live your life with caution and care, you never know what could happen. Thankfully, new health plans must cover ten essential health benefits including emergency services, hospitalization, and prescription drugs. So if you do end up in the ER while rock climbing or cleaning the gutter, you know you’ll be covered.
  • PLANS PROVIDE KEY PROTECTIONS. Pre-existing conditions like diabetes or a heart condition can no longer make you ineligible to get health coverage. In addition, health insurance companies are generally required to spend at least 80% of the money they take in on premiums for your health care and quality improvement activities instead of administrative costs. If your insurance company doesn’t meet these requirements, you’ll get a rebate.
  • FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE TO HELP MAKE PLANS AFFORDABLE. Most Virginians are eligible to receive financial assistance to help pay for their premiums, which can lower your monthly premium. Quality and affordability: now that’s a great deal that cannot be passed.
  • FREE, ONE-ON-ONE ENROLLMENT ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE. Want to sit down with an expert who can walk you through your health insurance options and help you pick a plan? Virginians can visit acahelpva.org to see where free, local enrollment assistance is available in their area.

Even though open enrollment doesn’t begin again until the fall on November 1, if you experience a life-changing event – moving outside your coverage area, losing your current health plan, gaining citizenship, leaving incarceration, having a baby, getting married, and others – you may have 60 days from the day the life-changing event occurs to enroll during a special enrollment period.