Choosing a healthcare plan can be difficult, especially when you have a chronic lung disease like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Affecting millions of Americans, COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema and makes it difficult to breathe. It can also be very expensive.
“Understanding the true total cost associated with available healthcare plans is so important for those with high-cost health needs like COPD, as access to care doesn’t help patients unless they can afford it,” says Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association.
When choosing a plan, consider all the factors that affect yearly out-of-pocket costs, including the premium, deductible and co-pay or coinsurance amounts. Also, check each plan’s coverage for doctors, specialists, hospitals and medications. COPD patients may reach the maximum out-of-pocket expenses. Adding the total premiums to that figure should give patients an accurate estimate of annual costs.
The deadline for individuals to enroll in a healthcare plan for 2016 is January 31. For guidance on choosing the most cost-effective plan, visit Lung.org. COPD patients and their caregivers can call the Lung Association’s free HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA to speak with a certified enrollment counselor.
Before enrolling in a healthcare plan, use free resources available to help you make the most financially sound decision for your circumstances.