How to Pick a Healthcare Plan if you have a Chronic Condition


Choosing a healthcare plan can be difficult, especially when you have a chronic lung disease like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Affecting millions of Americans, COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema and makes it difficult to breathe. It can also be very expensive.

“Understanding the true total cost associated with available healthcare plans is so important for those with high-cost health needs like COPD, as access to care doesn’t help patients unless they can afford it,” says Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association.

When choosing a plan, consider all the factors that affect yearly out-of-pocket costs, including the premium, deductible and co-pay or coinsurance amounts. Also, check each plan’s coverage for doctors, specialists, hospitals and medications. COPD patients may reach the maximum out-of-pocket expenses. Adding the total premiums to that figure should give patients an accurate estimate of annual costs.

The deadline for individuals to enroll in a healthcare plan for 2016 is January 31. For guidance on choosing the most cost-effective plan, visit COPD patients and their caregivers can call the Lung Association’s free HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA to speak with a certified enrollment counselor.

Before enrolling in a healthcare plan, use free resources available to help you make the most financially sound decision for your circumstances.


Misty Boggs
Misty Boggs is the Creative Director at MSGPR. She lives in Angelina County and recently earned her bachelor's degree in Public Relations and a minor in Creative Writing at Stephen F. Austin State University in 2020. She is currently working on obtaining her MBA from Lamar University. Between studying and working, she enjoys teaching her niece and nephew the fine art of never growing old.

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