Most people pick up health insurance thinking it will help them with chronic conditions, regular checkups, or in the event of an acute illness. But many healthcare insurance plans cover a lot more in additional healthcare services that people looking to improve overall wellness may want to consider. For others, they rule out extra medical services due to poor or no insurance at all but might be surprised to learn what’s out there. Whether your insurance plan covers additional services or not, here’s a look at a few healthcare services you may want to try out.
Mental Health Services
A lot of people tend to separate mental from physical health. The truth is, the mind’s a part of the body too. Mental and physical health work hand in hand, and your mental health and happiness can have a huge impact on your physical health. If you’ve been feeling down, experiencing anxiety, are grieving, or even feeling socially isolated, there are therapists and licensed psychologists who can help you. The best part is that finding a new therapist is as simple as a quick Google search. For example, places like WithTherapy will give you a list of recommendations for a therapist who could work for you.
Therapists are trained to work with people who have a myriad of mental health diagnoses. They can work in groups, with families, or with individual clients. They’re trained to help with things from low self-esteem to interpersonal relationship issues and even work with you should you receive a scary medical diagnosis. Available online and in-person, therapists can specialize in everything from LGBTQ issues to substance abuse problems.
Whether you’ve been in therapy before or not, it’s important to advocate for yourself when making your first appointment. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the types of therapy your potential counselor practices. It’s perfectly okay to admit you’re unsure and ask for more information. Check out reviews, do your homework on whomever you plan to see, and go into therapy with an open mind. You might be surprised at how much it helps not only your physical health but your mental mindset, too.
Dentistry and Orthodontics
Oral health is critical to your overall physical health too. Something as minor as a tooth infection can turn your blood septic if left untreated too long. But because not all health insurance policies cover dental, many people put off dentistry and orthodontics for far too long. If you don’t have dental insurance and are worried about what it might cost, one option is locating a mobile dentist. In many communities, dentists offer services on sliding scale fees to make dentistry needs more affordable.
If you’re like many and going to the dentist scares you, be honest about this when you set up your appointment. A little transparency may go a long way in helping your appointment go smoother. Dental hygienists and many dentists have been trained to help you through the common fear of dentistry. Instead of suffering in pain or trying to pull a tooth yourself, pick up the phone and ask for help.
If you’re lucky enough to have dental coverage, you may want to check with your insurance coverage to see if orthodontics is covered, too. In some cases, health insurance plans will cover a portion of orthodontics or offer orthodontic care reimbursements.
Clinical Treatments and Trials
If you’re suffering from a long term or serious illness, there are often free clinical trials or programs you can join for the sake of research. Maybe you’re getting cancer treatment in Cape May Court House, NJ, but things aren’t going well. Ask your doctor about alternative treatments, trials, and other options for you. While you may be looking at a grim diagnosis, trying something new could be a way to find new hope. Often overlooked because they aren’t in the typical standard of care treatment plans, trials, and alternative treatments mean more options for you.
If trials aren’t for you, talk to your hospital social worker or case manager about support groups with others who have the same illness as you. While you may have a great support network of family and friends, you’d be doing yourself a favor to connect with people experiencing the same symptoms, worries, and concerns as you. A diagnosis can be isolating, and having people around you in the same situation will help you feel less alone.
Wellness Programs and Rehabs
Many insurance policies come with preventative and wellness programs. These programs can include everything from gym membership reimbursements to devices that will help you to stay fit. These programs are often worth taking a look into, from money for step trackers to free help with smoking cessation or hypnosis.
Mental health community centers are known for free programs for both consumers and the general public. Whether it’s free support groups for people struggling with home or job issues or sudden illness or opportunities for free breast cancer screenings or pap exams, calling your local social services or health departments will help you find out what’s available.
Maybe you suffer from depression and see a counselor once a week at the local community health center. Consider asking them about support groups, group therapy, and other activities you could participate in. You might be surprised to learn just how many free or low-cost programs are available to you. Other places to look at VA centers, methadone clinics, AA support groups, the local food pantry and senior centers, the town recreation department, and the town welfare resource officer.
There are several health care services for children, too. From free health screenings through the Woman, Infants, Children (WIC) program to group play sessions at local therapy training schools for kids on the autism spectrum, the number of opportunities out there might shock you.
Hospitals, mental health community centers, health clinics, and more have many health services available for people to use with or without insurance. While coverage is best, there are even free programs and services for low-income people without insurance. If you live in the United States and want to know your options and resources, call 211 to find out about your area’s healthcare services.