Monday, February 9, 2015

Resources to help families of children with special needs get the best #health care coverage in the #Marketplace

Parents of children with special health care needs may have difficulty finding health care plans on the Marketplace due to their child’s medical complexity.  There are now resources to help families find the most comprehensive health care coverage for their child. 

Family Voices Indiana has a guide HERE.

Key Considerations When Exploring Health Care Coverage Options
Parents can look at a plan’s Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) to get the information they need.  There is a link on the Marketplace for the SBC for all participating plans.  SBCs can be compared to determine which plan has the most extensive coverage benefits or the benefits that most closely fit their child’s needs.  There are some key areas listed below for parents to consider.

Ø Network
Families need to make sure that all of the child’s providers are “in-network.”  This means not just the hospital but all providers in the hospital; doctors; therapists; pharmacy; durable medical equipment providers; etc.

Ø Medications
It is essential that parents make sure which medications are covered by the plan.  They should find out if each of their child’s medications is covered by the plan and make sure that copayments for specific medications are affordable.

Ø Medical Equipment
Families need to consider any “durable medical equipment” (DME) that their child uses, such as a wheelchair, etc. and make sure that it is covered in the plan and that copayments are affordable. 

Ø Services Needed
It is important for parents to verify that other services such as physical, occupational, and physical therapy are covered by the plan and that copayments are affordable.  In addition, even if habilitative/ rehabilitative services are included, some plans may have limits such as a certain number of visits per year for a particular therapy.   

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The National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC) has fact sheets, including one for children with special needs (see Resources.)  Other fact sheet topics cover autism, intellectual disability, and mental illness, and more are being developed.  In addition, NDNRC topical sheets cover other areas of interest such as comparing plans, medications, therapies, etc.  These fact sheets were developed to give more information to Navigators helping people with disabilities.   Families can use these helpful tools to assist them in finding ample health care coverage for their child with special needs.   

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Previous Family Voices Blog Articles:
How Do Parents Know if their Child’s Providers are in Marketplace Plans?
What is “Network Adequacy/Transparency” and What Does it Mean for Families?
National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC) Fact Sheets
NDNRC disability specific information (see also other Population Specific Fact Sheets)
Population Specific Fact Sheet-Child with Special Health Care Needs
This tip sheet is based on an ACA blog authored by Lauren Agoratus, M.A.  

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