Getting a Jump on Affordable Care Act Enrollment for 2021
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
LAS VEGAS -- Since March, Americans have been learning together about COVID-19 -- and that doctors don't have all the answers right now. It's also why "health literacy" is so important and is highlighted during the month of October.
Dr. Alexandra Watson, a family practice physician in Reno, said first and foremost, it's important to establish a relationship with a health professional, and if you've lost health insurance, to open enroll for the Affordable Care Act starting this Sunday.
"It can be really difficult, especially in communities that have low access to primary-care providers to get in if a health issue does come up," Watson said.
Health literacy is defined as the ability of an individual to acquire and understand health information in order to make appropriate decisions about their own health and the health of others.
Dr. Donna Christensen, board member at Consumers for Quality Care and a former U.S. representative, said health literacy also includes knowing the ins and outs of your insurance plan. She noted even highly literate people may have difficulty understanding medical jargon, or a familiar word may not be understood in a medical context.
"Know what your insurance covers, making sure you see somebody who's in your network and all of the other things that are important to making sure that you do not end up with a surprise bill," Christensen said.
She said whether a person has lost their employer-based health insurance during the pandemic or simply wants to select a new plan, they need to be informed about their options. More information is available at consumers4qualitycare.org/healthliteracy.
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