New benefits of Affordable Care Act

SEATTLE- The state’s new health care exchange is up and running. Even if you already have insurance, you may be in for a surprise.

There are a lot of new benefits, ones that could at add up in your family’s pocketbook.

“Whether you’re newly insured or you have been insured, you are going to see expansion of coverage,” says Alison Carl White with Within Reach.

From screenings to shots, a number of preventative services will now be covered under the Affordable Care Act. Come January, preventative shots and screenings, even diet counseling and help for smoker, will all be covered.

Vaccines, like Hepatitis A and B, which cost about 120 dollars each, will now be free.

“You won't have to make those choices of do I get the flu shots or do I do this,” says Carl White.

For kids, coverage now includes screenings for autism or depression and hearing tests for newborns. In many cases, there’s no-copay or deductible to meet. Insurance companies will also have to cover trips to the dentist, benefit that will help fight tooth decay, which is the most chronic health problem in children.

“It’s a big deal to get people  signed up for health insurance but the real win is when we all start having healthy behaviors and I really believe that starts with preventative care,” says Carl White.

Be aware, many existing healthcare plans are grandfathered in under the law, meaning they are not required to offer these new benefits. If you're not sure, just ask your insurance provider or HR representative at work.

You can also learn more at this website.