Enrolled for Health Care Coverage? Here's What's Next.
Jul 1, 2014
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:
Evaluate Your Needs
- 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?
“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
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
For assistance with finding a physician who is affiliated with UMCP, call 1.888.PHCS.4YOU or visit www.princetonhcs.org.