11 Surprising Obamacare Benefits

If you want to buy a plan from HealthCare.gov that will get you covered in 2014, the deadline is March 31 (with some exceptions). But what exactly will the insurance bought on the exchanges get you?

Included within the essential benefits — preventative care, mental health services, etc. — the plans cover some surprising things.

Here are 11 covered benefits that might surprise you.

1. Free aspirin (to prevent heart disease in older men and women)

2. Screening for depression

3. Flu shots

4. STD counseling (for people at high risk)

5. Help quitting smoking, such as tobacco use screenings

6. Folic acid supplements (for pregnant women)

7. Breastfeeding support and supplies, like breast pumps

8. Domestic violence screening and counseling (for women)

9. Substance abuse counseling

10. Services to help overcome long-term disabilities and chronic conditions

11. Screening to determine if your drinking is unhealthy

All of these benefits fall under the 10 essential benefits that the Affordable Care Act provides:

1. Outpatient care — the kind you get without being admitted to a hospital

2. Trips to the emergency room

3. Treatment in the hospital for inpatient care

4. Care before and after your baby is born

5. Mental health and substance use disorder services: This includes behavioural health treatment, counseling, and psychotherapy

6. Your prescription drugs

7. Services and devices to help you recover if you are injured, or have a disability or chronic condition. This includes physical and occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, psychiatric rehabilitation, and more.

8. Your lab tests

9. Preventive services including counseling, screenings, and vaccines to keep you healthy and care for managing a chronic disease.

10. Pediatric services: This includes dental care and vision care for kids

So-called “grandfathered” plans, which have existed since before March 23, 2010, may not provide all of these benefits.

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