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Open Enrollment, the one time of year you can buy or change your health insurance, starts on November 1st and ends on December 15th for most states. Health insurance is a great way to protect you and your loved ones from costly medical bills and provides you with access to quality care and services you need to stay happy and healthy. Keep reading to learn the basics about health insurance, what’s covered, and what can happen if you don’t have health insurance.

Ready to enroll now? We’ve partnered with Stride to help Wonoloers save time and money on health insurance. Stride works to find you the best health insurance plan at the lowest possible price in 10 minutes or less. Get started.

What’s covered under a health insurance plan?

By law, all Affordable Care Act-compliant health insurance plans, regardless of the insurance company or price, are required to help pay for ten essential health benefits. This helps you get better access to affordable health care and makes sure you’re not left paying hefty prices for the care you need. These ten health benefits are:

  1. Laboratory services: This includes diagnostic lab tests and some preventive screenings (like diabetes and cholesterol screenings)
  2. Emergency services: Even if you go out of network, your insurer will help pay for emergency care at a hospital
  3. Prescription drugs: Although insurance companies can pick and choose how much they’re willing to pay, there are certain drugs in each tier that your insurer has to help pay for.
  4. Mental health services: This includes counseling, inpatient services, and psychotherapy.
  5. Maternity and newborn care: Including services before, during and after your pregnancy
  6. Pediatric services: Think dental, vision, vaccinations, and well-child visits.
  7. Rehabilitative services: Designed for people with disabilities and chronic health conditions
  8. Ambulatory patient services: These are services you get at outpatient care, like same-day surgeries.
  9. Preventative services: Your annual checkups, physicals, and cancer screenings are covered here!
  10. Hospitalization: If you stay in the hospital overnight, your plan will help pay for part of your medical bill.

Remember: This doesn’t mean your insurance company will pay for everything 100%, it just means they’re required to pitch in for a percentage of each of these services.

Is there any free care that comes with health insurance?

You bet! There are some services that are covered 100% by your health insurance company. This means you don’t owe a dime for these services—not even a copay! Free care helps you stay on top of your health by giving you access to free preventative care. Here are some of the free services included with every health plan:

  1. Diabetes type 2 screening
  2. Blood pressure screening
  3. HIV screening
  4. Diet counseling
  5. Cholesterol screening
  6. Alcohol misuse screening and counseling
  7. Hepatitis B&C screening
  8. Depression screening
  9. Vaccinations (including the flu shot, Tetanus, MMR, and more!)
  10. Well women’s visits
  11. And more!

What happens if I don’t get health insurance?

The idea behind health insurance is that you pay a little each month to protect yourself during the times you really need to seek care, or in emergency situations. If you decide not to enroll in a health plan, you’re likely looking at a hefty medical bill if something were to happen.

For example, a concussion costs about 700 bucks with insurance. Without insurance, you’re looking at a $5,000+ medical bill. Accidentally slam your finger in a car door? A $300 bill with insurance can easily turn into a $2,000 bill without insurance.

Health care is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the U.S., and enrolling in an affordable health insurance plan is a smart way to protect your wallet against expensive bills and unpredictable expenses.

PS: If you live in California, there is a penalty of up to $2,000 for not having health insurance for 2021. Be sure to enroll before the deadline to avoid the fine!

How do I find a plan that’s right for me?

Wonolo has partnered with Stride to make it easier for Wonoloers to find affordable health insurance. Stride will search through all of the health insurance plans on healthcare.gov or your local state marketplace, recommend the best plan for your needs, and see if you’re eligible for savings. Using Stride is free, and on average, Stride users save $410 per month on health insurance, and 40% pay less than $25 per month for health insurance. Finding a plan usually takes less than 10 minutes and you can do it right from your phone. If you need help, Stride’s award-winning customer support agents are available to answer your questions and get you enrolled.

As a Wonoloer, Stride is completely free to you, and is not a requirement for Wonoloers. Ready to get started? Get started here!