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The best content to help you understand the complex U.S. healthcare system.
When will things go back to normal? What will the future look like with COVID-19?
According to health experts, the return to normalcy in the U.S. will depend on two factors: the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine and the strength of immunity that people develop after a COVID-19 exposure. If we are able to begin distributing an effective vaccine by early 2021, Dr. Fauci predicts that we will begin to see a somewhat normal way of life by the end of 2021. Until then, it is highly important to continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing. In addition, it is highly recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months receives a flu shot this season.
Recovering from COVID-19: How long am I contagious with coronavirus COVID-19? When can I be around people?
Coronavirus is a highly contagious virus that spreads through respiratory droplets. Some researchers believe that coronavirus is much more contagious than the flu. In general, if you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 you need to self isolate for 14 days after developing symptoms. If you test positive for COVID-19, you need to self isolate for 10 days and make sure that you do not have a fever or worsening symptoms before seeing others. If you believe you have COVID-19, you may want to get a PCR or antigen (rapid) test. These tests detect active COVID-19 infections; however, these tests may yield false-negative results. Therefore, getting a negative test does not rule out the chance of having COVID-19.
How to get a mammogram with no insurance? How to get a free mammogram in NYC?
With no insurance, diagnostic mammograms cost an average of $290. The prices typically range from about $80 to $810. With a private insurance policy, Medicare, or Medicaid, the cost of a mammogram is typically very low. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) required all insurance companies to cover mammograms for women over the age of 40 with no copay or deductible for uninsured or underinsured women. You can get a mammogram done at several NYC clinics.
When's the best time to get a flu shot? How long does the flu shot last? Data for the 2020-2021 season
The best time to get a flu shot is before the flu is spreading in your community. Since the flu peaks in February, and begins to spread throughout October and into March or April, it's recommended to get your flu shot by the end of October. The flu vaccine lasts the entirety of the season but since the virus changes the next season, it's important to get the shot each year.
Where to get a free flu shot in NYC for 2020-2021? Urgent Care Centers, Pharmacies, and Local Clinics
It's essential to get a flu vaccine this year. In New York City, you can receive a free flu shot at local clinics. If you have insurance, you can also get a free flu shot at local pharmacies such as health care resources; Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid. Urgent Care Clinics also offer free and low-cost flu shots. Some of these pharmacies have mobile apps to check availability. Check your cities local health department for more information regarding free flu vaccines. If you are a city employee, you can access free shots through WorkWell NYC Clinics. Children can also access a free flu vaccine by participating in the Vaccines for Children Program. If you are uninsured, there are ways to get a free flu shot in NYC such as local clinics.
How long after exposure should I get tested for COVID-19?
There are three different types of COVID-19 tests: the PCR test, the antigen test, and the antibody test. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get a PCR or antigen test about 3-4 days after symptom onset. If you had any exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 you should get a PCR or antigen test about 4-5 days after the exposure. Note - these tests are not 100% accurate and may yield false-negative results. Thus, if you had exposure, it is best to isolate from other people for 14 days.
Will The United States Face A Second Wave of Coronavirus COVID-19?
Health experts are predicting that there will likely be a second or third wave of coronavirus as we enter the fall and winter. The second wave may be worsened by a lack of compliance with mask-wearing/social distancing, the cold weather, and the presence of other illnesses. Based on data from the spread of H1N1 and the 1918 flu, there is reason to believe that the second wave may be worse than the first. However, if projections show that if there is high compliance with mask-wearing and social distancing, we can save close to 100,000 lives this year, decrease our chance of contracting COVID-19, and lower the risk of overwhelming our health care systems.
When Will The Flu Peak in the United States? Data for 2020-2021
In this article, we explain when flu cases are typically the worst and how COVID-19 may affect the spread and severity of the flu, also known as when it peaks and ends. Flu season in the U.S. is typically from October until April; however, the national peak of cases typically occurs in the first week of February. There are several ways that COVID-19 may affect the severity of the flu this season. If everyone continues wearing masks and social distancing, we may be able to reduce the spread of the flu. However, it is possible that getting COVID-19 can exacerbate the severity of the flu and put a strain on hospital systems. Therefore, it is recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months gets a flu shot before the end of October. Getting a flu shot, wearing a mask, social distancing, and having good hygiene will help reduce your chance of getting sick from the flu this season.¬†
Healthfirst Catastrophic Plan vs. Fidelis Care Catastrophic Plan
This article provides a detailed look at two catastrophic plans: Healthfirst and Fidelis Care. Catastrophic plans are meant for young and healthy individuals who do not regularly seek medical attention. With both plans, you are responsible for paying a monthly premium and 100% of your medical expenses until the deductible of $8,150 is met. These plans have different in-network hospitals and both offer a partial gym reimbursement. Overall, Fidelis Care seems to be a more cost effective plan, as it has a lower monthly premium.¬†
Empire BlueCross BlueShield Bronze vs. UnitedHealthcare Bronze
In this article, we help break down two bronze plans: Empire BlueCross BlueShield Bronze and UnitedHealthcare Bronze. Both HMO plans offer very similar services and payment plans. Both plans have a deducible of $5,500, give some reimbursement for a gym membership, and charge 50% coinsurance after deducible for services such as preventative care, primary care, specialty visits and urgent care. While UnitedHealthcare Bronze has better reviews pertaining to customer service satisfaction, the monthly premium for Empire BlueCross BlueShield is over $100 cheaper than that of UnitedHealthcare bronze. This BlueCross BlueShield may be the better option if you need to save money this year on your premiums.¬†
EmblemHealth Silver Bold vs. Oscar Health Saver Silver
In this article we compare two silver health insurance plans: EmblemHealth Silver Bold and Oscar Health Saver Silver. EmblemHealth is an HMO plan with a significantly higher deductible than Oscar Health, which is an EMO plan. The monthly premiums of these plans are very similar; however, each has different benefits. EmblemHealth offers $200 every 6 months to put towards a gym membership while Oscar does not. However, EmblemHealth requires a referral to see a specialist and Oscar does not require a referral. EmblemHealth and Oscar cover different hospitals in New York City, so you may want to consider your proximity to each hospital when picking a plan. Overall, we recommend Oscar Health's Saver Silver plan as it enables more flexibility and has positive reviews regarding customer service and user satisfaction.¬†