Category Archives: Health

Why Should You Get Health Insurance?

If you are young and healthy, you may not worry too much about visiting a doctor. As such, you may feel that signing up for health insurance is a waste of time and money. While you may not necessarily feel that signing up for health insurance is needed right away after reading this piece, it may give you a slightly different outlook on things. There are many advantages of signing up for health insurance and some may not be obvious.

You Will Save on Taxes

It may not be the most popular measure implemented in the Affordable Care Act, but the tax penalty has certainly been a motivator for many people to sign up. The tax penalty for not signing up for health insurance will be $695 on 2016 taxes per individual. With the elections looming, there is no telling whether the penalty will be in effect next year, but if it is it will probably be even more expensive. You can make your tax filing a little easier and put some money back in your pocket by signing up for insurance.

Preventative Care Is Covered

Preventative care like annual check-ups, womens’ wellness exams, and some types of screenings for medical conditions are covered by health insurance. Many of these are paid for outside of the deductible, so it is important to make sure you understand how a policy works before signing up for it. By going for these simple tests and visits, you can establish a relationship with a doctor and stay on top of your health.

You Have an Emergency Plan

If you break your arm, become very ill, or develop a chronic condition, health insurance can help to mitigate the expenses associated with these issues in a real way. You may save thousands of dollars paying for treatments. You may also expedite your recovery so that you are able to return to work and your favorite activities faster. In some cases, you may prevent the issue from worsening and causing lasting damage in your life.

You Help Society to Stay Healthier

When people that are generally healthy pay into the insurance system, it helps to provide a cushion for those that have medical conditions and rely more heavily on insurance to help with regular expenses. By paying into this system when young and healthy, you help to keep society healthier overall and work to ensure that the same cushion will be available for you when you need it. In this way, signing up for health insurance can actually help to improve society in small ways.

Call your local health insurance agency today to find out about signing up for insurance. Open enrollment is just around the corner, or you may even be eligible for a special enrollment period.

Health Insurance for Low Income Families

Health Insurance

Health insurance is very important to safeguard oneself and their family from the issues related to health. Low-income families have less access to employee sponsored insurance covers as compared to the higher-income groups. Health insurance is very important for every family and it would help get quality medical care. Health care costs are skyrocketing and these insurances would help one pay for the more serious and costly medical issues in future.

The government has tried to introduce affordable health insurances for the families with insufficient income for health care. Different states offer the programs according to their state laws. The various affordable programs are given below.

Medicare
This insurance program is jointly funded by the state and the federal governments. This policy is available to senior citizens, children, low-income parents, unemployed individuals, and people with disabilities. One has to be a U.S. Citizen to become eligible for these policies. The other eligibility criteria depends not only on the income, but also the assets of the applicant.

Mediaid
Mediaid is jointly funded by the federal and state government. Senior citizens, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and blind people are eligible for this program. The policy covers outpatient hospital services, doctor’s visits, and long-term in-patient services.

State Children’s Health Insurance Programs(SCHIP)
This program was an effort to try to insure the health of every child in the U.S. Children can be eligible for either Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP programs of the state of residence, even if the parents are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid.

Private Health Insurance Companies
There are many companies which offer health insurance coverage which are quite affordable. Many companies have family health insurance plans, which do not offer routine medical care, but protect the families financially in case of serious injury or illness.

Health Savings Accounts
These are savings accounts which can be used for expenses in case of medical care, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medical supplies. They are used in conjunction with a high deductible health plan (HDHP).

Mini Medical Insurance
This policy may cover a pre-determined number of doctor visits, prescription medicines, daily hospital benefits, and limited accident coverage. The cost of this policy may be as low as $50 per month.

Health Maintenance Organization Plans (HMO)
This is a group health insurance plan. The medical care is provided through a network of doctors and medical facilities who work directly for the HMO. The person availing medical care under HMO has to make small co-payment at each visit. The annual premiums are slightly lower than the other insurances.

Low-income families can always visit the local social services and discuss the various options available. The government is trying hard to cover all the families in the low-income group. The standard of health care provided to low-income families has considerably improved over the years. The state and federal governments are trying their best to work together and introduce more policies so that health insurances are provided to all such families in America. It is always advisable to insure one’s family with a health plan that suits their budget. Thus, one would be able to ensure a better medical care for their loved ones.

Benefits of Health Insurance Coverage

In the US, health care is privatized. It has been estimated that people spend a third of what they earn on obtaining health care services. For instance, a drug that is used to treat lung cancer in patients costs about $80,000 while prolonging the life of a sick person by a month when used in combination with chemotherapy. It has been estimated that, on a monthly basis, the same drug would cost $10,000 less in Europe. The cost of a drug that is used to treat kidney cancer works out to $60,000, but may prolong life by just 6 months. On an average, if a person develops cancer, the cost of medical bills can add up to a whopping $140,000. It’s evident that most people cannot afford to pay for health care on their own. Hence they rely on employer-based insurance.

Health Insurance Benefits
The current system of employer-based health insurance benefits evolved on account of the employer receiving tax deductions equal to the amount of premium paid. At present, the total cost of deductible premiums paid by all employers in the US roughly works out to $200 billion. In other words, the government is providing a subsidy equivalent to $200 billion in order to ensure that employees receive the benefits of health insurance coverage. Health insurance plans generally work in the following manner: A person is expected to pay an annual amount, or deductible, before the health insurance plan starts covering the cost of medical expenses. The insurance company pays a chunk of the annual medical expenses, while a small portion known as coinsurance is borne by the policy owner. The ratio between the expenses borne by the insurance company and coinsurance is generally 80:20 or 70:30. If the coinsurance amount exceeds the maximum annual out of pocket limit for the insured, the insurance company is expected to cover the entire annual medical expense. In addition to coinsurance, some insurance companies may expect the insured to pay a flat fee known as co-payment for every visit to the doctor. The main types of health insurance plans available to a person are: Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) Plans, Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) Plans, and Point-of-Service (POS) Plans.

Problems Associated with Private Health Insurance
Although health insurance benefits that are provided by private insurance companies seem like a good option, there are a number of problems associated with this. For instance, most people are covered under their employer’s group health insurance plan, and hence, lose their health insurance on getting laid off. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives a person the option of continuing on the previous employer’s health insurance plan, for 18 months after getting laid off, by paying 35 percent of the amount of premium; the remaining amount of premium being covered by the Federal govt. Temporary health insurance plans provide coverage for 6 months, but do not allow preventive and routine medical checks. A person may try and purchase individual health insurance, but this policy is fraught with difficulties. Unlike group health insurance, where an individual cannot be singled out and denied coverage on account of pre-existing conditions, individual health insurance plans can deny coverage on account of pre-existing conditions. Since individual health insurance policies carry a higher premium, as compared to group health insurance policies, a person who is out of a job cannot possibly afford health care. Each plan has its own set of restrictions. For instance, HMO plans cover the cost of the treatment only if the patient seeks treatment from the doctor who is a part of the HMO network. In order to consult a specialist, one needs to be referred by one’s primary care physician, who again is a part of the HMO network.

Health Care Reform Plan
Health Care Reform plan, proposed by the Obama administration, intends to reform the health care system by subsidizing the cost of health care. A $1 trillion, 10-year plan, to provide subsidized health care to Americans would be financed by new taxes and savings in Medicare. The President has already managed to persuade hospitals to reduce their expenditure by $155 bn, by reducing Medicare payments. Pharmaceutical companies have also agreed to cut drug costs by $80 bn. The plan also proposes taxing the cost of health benefits provided by the employer. The health care reform plan also includes a government insurance option for people who are unable to afford private insurance.

Health Insurance Plans with Maternity Coverage

One of the most precious and cherished moments in a woman’s life is to find out that she is going to become a mother. With life thriving inside her, every would-be-mother develops an instinct to protect her child. Medication, health check-ups, and diet schedule go up on the refrigerator, but that is not all. Mothers also prefer to safeguard their children with something more than diets and medicines. They also prefer health insurance plans that provide maternity coverage.

What is Health Insurance?

Its prime purpose is to safeguard the health, as well as financial interests of the people who have been insured by the policy.

Insurance companies offer policies to people at specific prices. The policy holder is expected to make annual installments to this company, which is known as the premium. The total amount of money that is received by the company is invested into hundred percent risk-proof ventures, that have assured returns. Thus, the money that is paid to the company grows and in some cases also multiplies. In case of an accident, when any medical expenditure is incurred, the policy holder can make a claim for compensation of losses. The company compensates the policy holder with the loss that has been incurred. The factors for which the compensation is granted are termed as the coverage of the policy. For example, expenditures for dental health care is covered by dental insurance. In the same manner, the health of a mother and her child can be insured under maternity coverage. The premium for such policies can be pretty expensive.

Plans with Maternity Coverage

Insurance companies have tailored many different policies, according to the requirements of their customers. The maternity coverage is basically an extension of the normal health insurance policy. Under this coverage, many medical bills are taken care of by the company. The prenatal insurance plans have some specific terms and conditions, such as whether the company would bear the cost of medications like prenatal vitamins or not. Usually it covers all the expenses, such as antibiotics, medication, or hospitalization charges. Most of these plans do not cover the usual expenses, such as prenatal medications or expenditure of regular checks-ups. In order to avail coverage for even these expenditures, you might have to pay very high premiums. The broader the coverage of these plans, the more expensive is the premium.

You can avail these plans after you get pregnant or even after you get married. Among all the types, the one that has a coverage for husband, wife, and maternity is most popular, and it matures after the baby is born. The health insurance of the husband and wife can be extended and coverage for the newborn baby can be added to it, with an increase of premium. In some cases, you might have to avail new policies for the mother and also her child. The extension and coverage basically depends on the terms of the current policy that you are using. You might also use some of the maternity programs, that are sponsored by the United States government, such as Medicaid and WIC.

There are various insurance agents, providers, and companies that offer really good policies with maternity coverage. However, one must never hastily purchase a policy just because it sounds good. It is necessary to review your requirements and the amount of premium you will be able to pay.

Cheap Dental Insurance Plan

A single visit to the dentist is bound to leave our pockets substantially lighter. In several cases, dental insurance is over lapped with normal health insurance. However, there are also times where one can also get a totally independent policy for the same. Choosing a cheap dental insurance plan is quite difficult as the independent plan is mighty expensive, and the one that acts as an extension to health insurance plans often tends to be inadequate in terms of coverage.

Problems Associated Individual Insurance

The problem with standard dental insurance is that it tends to have a rather high premium. The average annual premium, ranges from $1,000 to $3,000. The rule of thumb is, more the premium or cost of insurance, more is the coverage going to be. On the whole, the logic says that cheap dental insurance plans and policies are not going to have a very broad coverage, thereby putting your dental health at a substantial risk.

Alternatively, even if you get an independent and individual, full coverage insurance policy, then the coverage would be broad, quite unused and expensive. Apart from that, irrespective of being an expensive policy, some conditions are never covered. Hence the difficulty in choosing an affordable dental insurance plan. But there are a couple of things that can be done. Some of them have been discussed in the following paragraphs, let’s take a look…

How to Choose an Affordable and Cheap Dental Insurance?

Having only single, cheap dental insurance plan, without any other backing plan is dangerous, as it covers very few things and tends to have deductibles. However, you can use more than one coverage or insurance policy to make things even, and get a really good coverage.

Employer Facilitated Plans
Several employers often provide a separate plan, which is collectively provided for all the employees and is managed and financed by the employer. The plans that are included in such a spectrum include, Dental Health Maintenance Organization Insurance Plans (DHMO) and Dental Preferred Provider Organization Plans (PPO).

The best thing about such a plan is that it provides for periodic dental care facilities, and smaller non surgical and non cosmetic procedures, and often it does not also have a deductible. Another plan is the Direct Reimbursement Plan (DRP), wherein a reimbursement is provided for certain dental care treatments.

Another similar one is the Least Expensive Alternative Treatment (LEAT), where compensation is provided for dental care costs. Now the problem with both these policies is that they tend to have deductibles, and only cover the cost of treatment. This would include eradication of infection, periodic cleanup, and other first aid procedures. However, orthodontic procedures, correction and procedures that tend to have an element of complexity, are not covered.

Hence if you have the aforementioned coverage, you can get a sort of add-on for complex procedures, now again these coverage tend to have a certain deductible, which is of course quite high. However, the plus point is that you get a remarkably good coverage, within a small and affordable dental plan.

Individual Plans at a Low Cost
There are some individually oriented plans which you can consider. Health insurance often covers some parts of dental insurance, such as first aid or some minor emergency procedures. However, dental care or complicated procedures such as tooth removal or orthodontic procedures are not included in the process. Hence, to cover up the dental care aspect of the coverage you can either avail a Dental Discount Plan and a AARP Dental Insurance.

It must be noted that no insurance plan is the ‘best’ or foolproof, all we need to do is just find the right one for ourselves.