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9 covered health care services you may not know about

by Lauren Mandel

By now, it’s clear that all Americans need to have health insurance. However, what may be less clear is what health care services your plan actually covers.

There are some covered health care services you may already know about, like yearly doctor visits. But we’ve taken a look at 9 of the lesser-known health care services that are covered by your plan – and that you should starting taking advantage of now for you and your family.boy grocery cart (3)

Counseling for tobacco use

Despite the warning signs, an estimated 40 million adults in the United States still currently smoke cigarettes. What would help make it easier for these millions of people to quit? Counseling and support. Now under the Affordable Care Act, you can get counseling for your tobacco use to help you kick this bad habit.

Flu shots

Flu season is in full-force, and winter doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon. The best way you can protect yourself from sneezing and sniffling is to take preventative measures and get a flu shot. The vaccine is offered at most local clinics – and it’s covered with no cost-sharing.

Autism screenings

In the United States alone, autism affects over 3 million individuals, but it can be difficult to diagnose, especially because autism hits its patients at such a young age. Thankfully, screenings to help determine whether or not your child has autism are now a covered health care service under the health law.

FDA-approved contraceptives

While this has been controversial in the past, the government recently released clarification stating contraception must be covered under the Affordable Care Act. Insurers are required to cover at least one of the 18 FDA-approved contraceptive methods, so check with your doctor to see which are covered by your plan.

Over-the-counter aspirin

For many at-risk Americans, taking a daily aspirin can help lower the risk for heart attack. And now, with a prescription, your over-the-counter aspirin could be covered by your health plan. Consult with your doctor to see if a daily aspirin is right for your health.

Mental health counseling

Depression affects nearly 7 percent of the adult population in a given year. If you’re feeling depressed, you should never have to face those feelings alone. And now thanks to the Affordable Care Act, you won’t have to: mental health counseling, as well as screenings, are now covered health care services.

Pediatric dental care

If you want your children to grow up happy and healthy, it’s important to pay attention to their dental health. Just like general pediatric services, pediatric dental care is also a covered health care service under the health law. So whenever you make a doctor appointment for your little ones, you can make a dentist appointment, too.

Fluoride supplements for children

While this one may seem more obscure, fluoride is very important for your children’s development and dental health. Many children don’t receive the proper dose of fluoride, a nutrient that can help fight cavities, from their natural water source. So now, fluoride supplements are covered for those in need.

Breastfeeding support

For many first-time moms, breastfeeding can be a challenge. What equipment do you need to purchase? How long should you breastfeed your newborn? Is breastfeeding the right choice for you? Under the Affordable Care Act, you now have access to various covered services to help you out, including counseling and supplies.

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