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Health Insurance Alert
WE CAN HELP — Our health care policy experts are working to provide you with the resources you need to make the most of new health care consumer protections and tools.
How To Get The Best Deal
Newly uninsured and looking for coverage? Deciding if your current plan still gives you the best value? Consumers have new options and protections. Know the facts.
1. Check out your options at the Health Insurance Marketplace. The plans include coverage for doctor visits, hospitalizations, maternity care, emergency room care, prescriptions and more.
You can sign up right away, and don’t have to wait until the next open enrollment period if you’ve recently lost coverage, or in other special cases.
Toll free: (800) 318-2596 TTY: (855) 889-4325
2. Find out about financial help. You may qualify for financial help to reduce monthly costs, and could be eligible for free or low-cost coverage. Check your eligibility online at HealthCare.gov or by calling one of the numbers above.
3. Get help comparing options and signing up. Take advantage of expert in-person help at no cost to you. Find a list of people who can help you and make an appointment online.
4. Compare plans. Key considerations include the monthly premium, potential out-of-pocket costs, provider network and independent quality ratings.
5. Don’t take no for an answer. Insurance companies can no longer deny you coverage due to a pre-existing condition.
6. Switch plans if you want to. In the health insurance marketplace, every year at open enrollment you can stick with your current plan, or switch to a new one.
7. Learn more. Check out our detailed Health Insurance 101 guide, So You Need Health Insurance. Now What?
8. Keep in touch. Check for updates on our website, and tell us about your experience. We want to hear what you think so we can spot trends and advocate for ongoing improvements. Contact us.
Health Care Consumer Protections
If you have coverage, you should know about your rights under the health care law, including:
- Children and young adults can stay on their parents’ plan until age 26
- Free preventive care, including check-ups and vaccinations
- Insurance companies can’t set a lifetime cap on what they’ll pay if you get sick
- Rebates if your insurance company spends less than 80% of premiums on care
- No more annual caps on what your insurer will pay if you get
- Insurance companies can’t charge women more than men for coverage
The maker of Humira, the world’s best-selling drug, faces a new legal challenge over alleged anticompetitive tactics. Monday, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) filed an amicus brief in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that AbbVie’s strategies of reverse payment settlements and creating “patent thickets” have delayed the entry of biologically similar generic drugs (biosimilars) onto the market, costing Americans billions of dollars.
COVID-19 is putting incredible stress on the U.S. medical system, including the work of hospital biomedical repair technicians, known as biomeds or BMETs. These technicians are essential; hospitals need working equipment to diagnose and treat patients. But in some cases, manufacturers restrict access to what biomeds need.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is putting incredible stress on the U.S. medical system, including the equipment that is essential to diagnose and treat patients, such as ventilators. As that equipment is pressed into round-the-clock use, biomedical repair technicians face increasing pressure to maintain and repair all that equipment. However, in too many cases, manufacturers limit access to the essential tools and information these repair experts need. A new report by the OSPIRG Foundation, Hospital Repair Restrictions, details the challenges that medical professionals face as a result of device manufacturers setting up barriers to repair, and outlines steps to take to help hospitals.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a full recall Wednesday of all ranitidine, a heartburn medication known by the brand name Zantac.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 48 million Americans contract a food borne illness yearly with 128,000 people hospitalized and 3,000 dead as a result of these illnesses.
The food safety system uses two lines of defense to help prevent this threat. First a series of inspections and enforcement measures identify hazardous products before they make it to store shelves and Americans’ plates. Second, when a foodborne pathogen or other threats are still sold for consumption, the recall system attempts to remove the food from store shelves as quickly as possible and alerts consumers about the hazard. While not all illnesses are connected to a source, removing contaminated food from the market helps protect the public.
Tools & Resources
Your tax-deductible donation supports OSPIRG Foundation’s work to educate consumers on the issues that matter, and the powerful interests that are blocking progress.
You can also support OSPIRG Foundation’s work through bequests, contributions from life insurance or retirement plans, securities contributions and vehicle donations.