At the recent Go Green expo I struck up a conversation with a young staffer who challenged me with an important question– does Obamacare cover skin problems? She was in her early twenties, super healthy ( her words, not mine), but she was dealing with chronic rosacea. Without health insurance, she did not have the funds to see a dermatologist and had to rely on ineffective drug store remedies.
Affecting more than 16 million Americans, rosacea is a flushing and redness that can lead to acne like eruptions and skin thickening. It seems to run in familes and is more common in people with light skin and eyes.Its not clear what causes rosacea but studies have shown bacteria, yeast and even skin mites to be part of the problem. Spicy foods, alcohol and sunlight can trigger a rosacea outbreak. Cosmetics with menthol, fragrance and glycolic acid can also be a problem for rosacea prone skin.
Rosacea can also be more than a cosmetic problem. An estimated 30% of people with rosacea go on to develop roseacea linked eye roblems. Called occular rosacea, it requires prompt medical attention to prevent permanent vision loss.
Obamacare and The Skin
While the Affordable Care Act is not perfect I would definately recommend that she explore her options on HealthCare.gov. Her rosacea was certainly the type of pre-existing condition that the new healthcare law was set up to handle. At her age insurance premiums are at their lowest. Depending on her income, she could qualify for exanded Medicaid or subsidies for monthly premiums. Coverage would provide access to treatments like IPL lasers that zap overactive blood vessels that are driving the redness. A doctor can also write prescriptions for antibiotic lotions( Metrogel), sulfosuccinate cleansers ( Prascion) and low dose oral antibiotics ( Oracea).
I doubt if Obamacare covers anti-aging lasers and Botox, but for clinical skin problems including rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and especially skin cancer, the Affordable Care Act may provide access to life changing treatment.