Health News Articles

Enrolled for Health Care Coverage? Here's What's Next.

Jul 1, 2014

University Medical Center of Princeton (UMCP) is a Certified Application Counselor organization and specially trained members of our staff have helped over 200 area residents apply for coverage through the new health insurance plans available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If you are among the millions of people who have enrolled in these plans across the United States, you may be wondering what steps you can take to promote good health for yourself and your family members.

According to Debbie Millar, Director, Community Education & Outreach, Princeton HealthCare System, these are some of the most common questions we have heard from members of the community:

  • How can I find doctors who participate in my plan?
  • What appointments should I make? What screenings are necessary?
  • What does my new plan cover?
  • Where can I find outpatient, emergency or behavioral healthcare services?
Evaluate Your Needs
“The very first step is to do your own healthcare inventory,” says David S. Lazarus, MD, Chairman of Medicine at UMCP.

Think about your healthcare goals, such as eating a more healthy diet, enhancing your fitness level and/or managing a chronic condition. Consider your family history, ethnic background, and age to determine your risk for certain diseases, and discuss this with your physician. For example, if you are at a high risk for a condition like colon cancer that may be the screening you want to get first.

“And of course, evaluate your lifestyle and the things you can do to remain healthy,” says Dr. Lazarus, who is triple board certified in critical care medicine, pulmonary disease and internal medicine.

Is it Covered?
Some preventive screenings may be free or low-cost under the ACA’s plans. “Blood pressure screening is important and when results are high, getting regularly monitored and receiving treatment or making lifestyle modifications if needed are critical to promoting health,” says Dr. Lazarus. Other screenings, including those for breast cancer and colon cancer, may be necessary depending on your age and family history. Speak to your plan provider to understand covered services and limitations of your plan and your responsibilities, such as your deductibles and copayments.

A listing of preventive screenings that are covered with no out-of-pocket costs is available on the website www.healthcare.gov.

Where Can I Get Testing and Treatment?
If your physician orders testing, such as lab tests or imaging (examples include X-rays, CT scans, MRI or nuclear testing), you will find many of these services conveniently available through UMCP, which accepts the insurance plans available through the ACA. UMCP also offers state-of-the-art emergency care for adults and children at its campus in Plainsboro. A continuum of healthcare services is available through Princeton HealthCare System, including therapy and treatment such as outpatient rehabilitation; homecare; infusion and radiation therapy; and inpatient, partial-hospital and intensive outpatient care through Princeton House Behavioral Health.

Finding a Doctor
Many members of the Princeton HealthCare System Medical Staff participate in all ACA plans.

You can check with your plan provider to find physicians who participate in your plan, and when scheduling an appointment with a physician, it’s a good idea to verify participation in your insurance plan at that time. For questions about your plan, such as copies of cards, coverage, and change of name, address, etc., please call your plan provider.

For assistance with finding a physician who is affiliated with UMCP, call 1.888.PHCS.4YOU or visit www.princetonhcs.org.