Alternative Health Options for Energy Workers
Although medical professionals have positively linked radiation exposure to certain cancers, there are a variety of illnesses that, although they may have been exacerbated by exposure, were not caused by it. Fortunately, federal employees still have access to other sources of medical benefits that can help them receive the care that they need.
The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program
Established in 1959, the FEHB Program is the largest employer-sponsored federal health insurance program in the country. Most federal employees are eligible to elect this type of coverage and can choose from a number of different types of plans, including:
- Fee for Service Plans (FFS);
- Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO);
- Consumer Driven Health Plans (CDHP);
- Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA); and
- Health Savings Accounts (HSA).
Each kind of program offers unique benefits and different payment plans. However, as long as a federal employee chooses an approved plan, the government will pay as much as 75 percent of the plan’s premium. Benefits could include, but are not limited to: dental coverage, preventive care, prescription drugs, and emergency care.
Medicare is another option available to federal employees and is available to people 65 years or older who worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least ten years. In fact, certain individuals who had Medicare-covered government employment can receive premium-free Hospital Insurance (Plan A), which covers:
- Hospital care;
- Skilled nursing facility care;
- Nursing home care;
- Hospice care; and
- Home health services.
Part B coverage, or Medicare Insurance, covers two types of services:
- Medically necessary services or supplies that are crucial to diagnosing or treating a medical condition, such as x-rays and laboratory tests; and
- Preventive services, which cover health care measures aimed at averting illness.
Unfortunately, Medicare does not always cover personal care services, unless a doctor can establish that they are related to the patient’s care plan or are incidental to other medical services being received. Finally, unlike Part A coverage, recipients must pay a monthly premium to receive Part B benefits.
Those who suffer from illnesses that are not covered by EEOICPA or RECA may also have access to the same benefits through their own private insurance carriers. For instance, many insurers cover home health care services for a certain period of time. This is especially true for those who are suffering from serious illnesses, such as cancer. Medicaid may also cover portions of these types of costs.
Contact a Member of our Experienced Home Health Care Team Today
The EEOICPA and RECA only provide compensation to certain individuals, including employees, mine workers, and civilians who lived near nuclear testing sites. Furthermore, these individuals are only provided with medical benefits if they are diagnosed with certain covered illnesses. Fortunately, there are other options for those suffering from non-covered illnesses, including the FEHB Program and Medicare, so if you were denied compensation by EEOICPA, but still require home health care, please contact United Energy Workers Healthcare and Four Corners Health Care today at 888-912-7201 to speak with one of our experienced team members.
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In order to be eligible for EEOICPA/RECA benefits, an individual must have been employed at a covered Department of Energy facility, an approved atomic weapons facility, or at a permitted beryllium vendor. An individual must also have one of the covered conditions as a result of exposure to radiation, beryllium, or silica while employed at an accepted facility. In addition, uranium miners, millers, and ore transporters are eligible for benefits if they develop an illness as a result of exposure to toxic substances (such as radiation, chemicals, solvents, acids, and metals) and worked at a facility covered under RECA. Eligibility requirements vary by location and condition.