3 ways to stay healthy this summer

3 ways to stay healthy this summer

This summer, put your health and well-being first. Take advantage of the free preventive services offered by your Marketplace plan and take steps to live a healthy lifestyle.

3 ways to be proactive with your health

  • Get the preventive services that are right for you. Most health plans cover a set of preventive services — like shots and screening tests — at no cost to you. (Note: These services are free only when delivered by a doctor or other provider in your plan’s network.)
  • Make healthy changes to your eating habits. Swapping soda for water and adding fruits and vegetables to your meals can make a big difference. Visit www.choosemyplate.gov for information on how to eat the right amount of different types of food.
  • Talk to your doctor about being more active. Whether it’s going on a jog, taking your dog for a walk, or working in your garden, there are a lot of ways to incorporate activity into your life on a regular basis. Regular physical activity increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life.

Having health insurance and getting good health care are important, but there’s no substitute for a healthy lifestyle.


Moving to a new state? You’ll need a new health plan

3 ways to stay healthy this summer

When you move to a new state, you can’t keep a health insurance plan from your old state. To make sure you stay covered, report your move to the Marketplace as soon as possible. This way you can enroll in a new plan and avoid paying for coverage you won’t be able to use in your new state.

How to report a move to a new state

  • When you move to a new state, your coverage options will change. You may no longer be eligible for your current plan.
  • New plans, prices, and savings may be available to you.
  • To get coverage in your new state, you’ll need to start a new Marketplace application or apply through your new state’s website (if your new state runs its own Marketplace).
  • Get screen-by-screen uploading directions, with pictures (PDF), or follow these steps.

Move within the same state?

Learn more about reporting a move to the Marketplace.


4 steps to take after your doctor’s appointment

3 ways to stay healthy this summer

Now that you've found a doctor you trust, there are several steps you can take to maintain your good health.

4 steps to take after your appointment

  • Follow any instructions, and fill any prescriptions you were given. Health plans will help pay the cost of certain prescription medications. Call your insurance company or visit their website to see what prescriptions are covered and which pharmacies you can use.
  • Schedule a follow-up visit, if you need one. Write down the appointment where you’ll remember it.
  • Review your Explanation of Benefits, and pay your medical bills. After your visit, you may get an Explanation of Benefits in the mail from your insurance company. This is an overview of the total charges for your visit and how much you and your health plan will have to pay. Be sure to pay your bills on time, and keep any paperwork.
  • Contact your doctor or health plan with any questions. If you have concerns between visits, call your doctor’s office. They can help answer questions you have about your health.

Learn more about your next steps after an appointment (PDF).


Attention college grads: Know your health insurance options

3 ways to stay healthy this summer

Congratulations, graduates! Whether you’re starting a new job or planning your next move, you have options for health insurance. Getting insured may be easier than you think.

3 health insurance options for new college grads

  • Buy a Marketplace plan. You may be eligible to enroll in Marketplace health insurance for the rest of 2018 if you have a life event — like moving to or from the place you attended school, or losing other health insurance (like dropping off a student plan or your parents’ coverage) — that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period.
  • If you’re under 26, stay or get added to your parents’ plan. If a parent’s health insurance plan covers dependents, you usually can be added to their plan and stay on it until you turn 26. Learn more about getting on your parent’s plan.
  • Get Medicaid, if you qualify. If you’re working part time, starting a business, or otherwise aren’t making much money, you may qualify for Medicaid. If you qualify, coverage can start right away, any time of year.

Get more information on health insurance options for young adults.


Is your doctor right for you?

3 ways to stay healthy this summer

Your health and well-being are important and personal. You should have a doctor you trust and feel comfortable with.

5 questions to ask yourself after a doctor’s visit

  • Were all your health needs addressed?
  • Did the doctor pay attention to your concerns?
  • Did the doctor answer your questions in a way that was easy to understand?
  • Did the doctor speak in a way that made you comfortable?
  • Could you contact the doctor/office staff with follow-up questions?

Here’s a longer list of questions you can ask (PDF).

Next steps

  • If you answered “Yes” to the questions above, you may have found a doctor that’s right for you.
  • If you answered “No” to one of these questions, do you think the doctor would make changes if you spoke up? Sometimes asking for what you need is the best way to get it.
  • If you decide to switch doctors, start by checking your plan’s list of "in-network" providers. Get tips on finding a new provider (PDF).


Get Medicaid & CHIP anytime if eligible

3 ways to stay healthy this summer

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are free or low-cost health programs that cover many services, like hospitalizations, doctor visits, and prescription drugs. If you qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, your coverage can start right away, any time of year.

Who qualifies for Medicaid & CHIP

How to apply for Medicaid & CHIP

  • You can apply through the Health Insurance Marketplace®. Fill out an application, and if it looks like anyone in your household qualifies for Medicaid or CHIP, we’ll automatically send your information to your state agency. They’ll contact you about enrollment.
  • You can also apply directly with your state Medicaid agency. Select your state from the drop-down list for your Medicaid agency’s contact information.

Learn more about Medicaid and CHIP coverage.


No health insurance? See if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period

3 ways to stay healthy this summer

If you have certain types of life changes — like losing health coverage, moving, getting married, or having a baby — you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in a Marketplace plan for the rest of 2018.

Do you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period?

If you already know you qualify, start an application:


Attention: Tax day is less than one week away!

3 ways to stay healthy this summer

Don’t miss the April 17, 2018, deadline to file 2017 taxes and report your health coverage! No matter how you got health coverage — whether through the Marketplace, your job, or another source — you must report your 2017 coverage status to the IRS when you file taxes.

Get step-by-step directions & tax forms:

Tax help is available:


5 tips to prepare for doctor’s visits

3 ways to stay healthy this summer

Visiting the doctor soon? Here are 5 things you can do to get ready.

Get ready for your doctor’s visit

  • Bring your insurance card with you. After you enrolled in a plan, you should have gotten a card or other proof of your insurance in the mail. (If you didn’t get a card, contact your health plan.)
  • Know your family health history. Share with your doctor any family health history and medical records, if you have them.
  • Make a list of any medicines you take. Make sure to tell your provider the dosages.
  • Bring a list of questions and things to discuss. Write down your questions or concerns in advance. You may want to bring a friend or family member with you to help.
  • Take notes. Jot down any questions that come up during your appointment. Don’t leave until all of your questions have been answered and you understand what to do next.

For more tips on preparing for your doctor’s visit, read our "From Coverage to Care: A Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You" (PDF).


4 steps to find the provider that’s right for you

3 ways to stay healthy this summer

Choosing a provider you trust is one of the most important decisions you’ll make about your health care, and finding the right one can take a little work. Follow these 4 steps to help you choose:

How to find a doctor you trust

  1. Get a list of in-network providers: Call your insurance company or look at their plan materials for a list of doctors in their network. You’ll usually pay less to see a doctor in your network than a doctor who’s out-of-network.
  2. Do your research: Ask friends and family if they recommend their doctors. You may even be able to read online reviews for doctors in your area.
  3. Call the office for more information: Call the doctor’s office and ask them any questions you have to help you decide. Make sure they accept new patients and your health coverage.
  4. Make an appointment, and give them a try: When you call to make your appointment, have your insurance card on hand. It might take more than one visit to figure out if a doctor is the right one for you.

Learn more about finding a provider and making an appointment (PDF).