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Posts Tagged ‘health insurance’

Medical Debt and Personal Bankruptcy: Time for Reform

September 23rd, 2018 Comments off

Republican, Democrat, Left, Right, Centrist… No matter how citizens in this nation may choose to politically identify ourselves, we are all pretty much in agreement about one thing: This country needs health care reform. Our suggestions as to what shape that reform should come in may not be identical but there is no denying that we are currently on the fast track to bankruptcy if meaningful reform is delayed much longer.

In fact, many individual Americans have already been bankrupted through devastating encounters with our current health care system. This past summer, the respected American Journal of Medicine released new study findings that revealed some staggering statistics that reveal the role that medical expenses play in personal bankruptcy filings. Working to reduce the margin of error in their findings, the authors applied a stringency to the study that made it a first of its kind: a truly random sample of bankruptcy filers nationwide, followed up with detailed personal interviews of participants. Medical causes of bankruptcy were defined to include medical bills and loss of income due to health issues. In conclusion, they discovered that more than 60% of personal bankruptcy filings in 2007 had significant medically related expenses that pushed individuals and families over the financial edge to file for bankruptcy.

Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, one of the study’s authors, voiced her conclusions in an interview with CNN saying, “Unless you’re a Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, you ‘re one illness away from financial ruin in this country If an illness is long enough and expensive enough, private insurance offers very little protection against medical bankruptcy, and that’s the major finding in our study.” There are those who find Dr. Woolhandler’s words a little radical. A spokesman for the Washington, D.C. based nonpartisan policy research foundation, The Center for Studying Health System Change, admitted some reservations about the findings but at the same time concluded that 1 in 5 American families are “unduly strained” by medical bills.

In 1981, only 8% of families filing for bankruptcy claimed to have done so in the wake of a major medical crisis. (The accuracy of that figure is somewhat debatable since court records do not indicate the origin of debt that is handled by collection agencies, possibly obscuring debt generated by doctor or hospital bills.) In 2001, a major study concluded that over 46% of personal bankruptcies were medically related. The American Journal of Medicine study’s most recent conclusions of 61% used data from 2007, indicating an alarming trend and numbers which interestingly predate the fallout of our economy’s current recession.

The stigma that hangs over personal bankruptcy in our country is in part due to the public’s common misunderstanding of what the average filer looks like; many people have a mental image of a hapless slouch. The American Journal of Medicine’s study reveals this misapprehension for the untruth that it is. Most of the debtors surveyed were middle class, middle aged and college educated. 75% of the debtors had health insurance coverage at the onset of their financial and health problems. Typically this insurance left them with the commonplace gaps of high premiums, copayments, hefty deductibles and a range of uncovered medical services. It is important to note that policy rescission is a normative practice among medical insurance companies with 25% cancelling an individual’s policy immediately upon a disability diagnosis and another 25% of companies cancelling within one year of the diagnosis.

It is hard to ignore that the middle class’ back is being gradually broken under the weight of the current insurance system. Health insurance premiums skyrocket every six months and deductibles on most policies follow a similar skyward pattern annually. Proponents of the American Dream have traditionally contended that what is bad for the middle class is bad for the nation as a whole. Currently, it is estimated that the U.S. will spend 17.6% of its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) on health care in 2009. The future holds an ever upward spiral if reforms are not soon brought into play. A further consideration of this staggering GDP statistic is to realize that it does not and cannot take into account all the associated costs that medically related bankruptcy of individuals or small businesses impose on the economy and society.

Do yourself a favor as a good citizen and read the American Journal of Medicine’s study in full. (You can find it quickly online at amjmed.com, Vol. 122, Issue 8, pp. 741 to 746.) Be informed, do some further fact scouting and let your congress representative and senator know that the average citizen wants and needs access to the quality of health insurance elected officials are privy to.

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Health Insurance For The Masses

September 15th, 2018 Comments off

Trying to look for good insurance deals on the market can be challenging at the best of times without complicated vocabulary getting in your way. This article looks at some of the jargon found in insurance information. From here, you can begin to understand insurance in more depth when browsing on websites and in directories.

One term you will hear all the time is HMO. This stands for ‘Health Maintenance Organization. HMOs oversee health coverage, guidelines and standards for doctors in hospitals.

Usually the pay is too low for your employee to afford their own health care. It is seemingly impractical to pay for health insurance even if that means a loyal worker goes without. There is ways to get insurance for small businesses and the employees.

Every state has numerous offices and firms that will carry insurance for small businesses. Like any other commodity, companies are going to try to get the most that they can out of you. As a small business owner, you cannot afford that.

You need to shop around and see what firm will offer you the most for the least. By accessing what you need for your employees and yourself, you will be able to match your budget and save where you can. The more quotes, the better.

Both sides bring up excellent points that should be considered. After all, health insurance and coverage will be dominating the media in months to come. It is better for you to research both points fairly and decide.

Democrats argue that it is simply unfair to the millions of people who have to go without. They believe that the price for HMOs is too high and that the healthcare companies have developed an industry in which they control pricing. Their values say that it is time to step in and oversee the healthcare industry.

Republicans believe that it is not only wrong for the government but will be paid for by the expense of the American people. It will cost trillions of dollars to implement free health insurance. Through their ideology, they believe that free health insurance is a socialistic response to a problem.

Under Obama’s plan it will be mandatory that all businesses carry health insurance for their employees. Also, all parents must insure their children or they will be fined. He also wants to increase health insurance chances to those considered to be in the ‘pool of risk’

Risk pool is term that you might hear once in a while. This refers to a group of people who cannot find health insurance based on certain conditions. They are risky to insure because of their condition and therefore are a greater cost to the insurance companies.

There are many ways to cut cost when shopping for the insurance for your small business. I know that it is costly to have but in return, you can provide well being to both yourself and your employee. Having that will help both your employees and your business.

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Socialized Medicine or a new National Health Plan?

August 29th, 2018 Comments off

Freedom is defined as the lack of intimidation or limitation in choice or action and liberation from the command of another. It is what American men and woman have surrendered their lives shielding. Even so, American leadership has created a greater burden imposing what is thought to be the most legitimate community plan. Unfortunately, this leads to Americans independence to a unhurried death as efforts are made to smother them through this new health care revolution.

One American asks How is it that one of our country’s founding documents is the Declaration of Independence and now we are allowing ourselves to affirm our reliance on our government and chief? Obama’s new health care revolution offers many benefits that Americans have never wanted nor opted to pay for. It allows governmental administration to decide the rate and the synopsis of benefits without consulting the actual people it would cover; not quite by the people and for the people.

The proposed community rating means that all people would have the equal insurance rate regardless of lifestyle choices. No longer would the preference for a healthy existence be advantageous. A one size fits all type plan where Americans hand over their insistence on choice having no Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), Health Savings Account (HAS), nor a capitalistic economy which now exists for senior Medicare supplements. Although, the reasoning behind backing this plan has come with great speculation as Mr. Obama responds with a yes to the preliminary health questions on tobacco use.

In light of his dialogue with students, some might dispute the need to make young people conscious of the toil they will face as they move from adolescence to adulthood. According to Forbes magazine college graduates will walk away from his or her university with a minimum of $20 thousand in dept and an yearly income of $30 thousand. In today’s market, that is not exactly guidelines for success.

Obama is asking young Americans to take ownership of his or her education and with the same breath, it seems, making a decision that will control their future. Obama will demand that young people pay more into the health care plan while making less. While older Americans will make more and pay significantly less for a program they make more use of.

Who is Obama thinking of when conveying this revolutionary health care plan? One may think of the mature and ailing patients. Unfortunately, these are not benefiting from the loss of their freedom either. When Americans give up the right to choose, they also give the right to doctors to come to a decision on which patient is more important, perhaps pushing ill patients to the back of the line since they are viewed as having nothing left to contribute to humanity.

Some have coined the phrase of Americans Endangered Freedoms as we slowly let government decisions cut away our autonomy for individual life choices. This Health Care Revolution will dictate how Americans hard-earned income or retirement is spent. It will choose the health care provider, the health care plan, the deductible paid and even the doctor seen.

Maybe in hearing this ones mind may drift to another time when a people dressed in uniforms, raised his or her right arm and declared Hail Obama? Is this the American way paved for future generations? Perhaps Americans should bestow more credit to their own minds and decide what is best for their individual needs? If not, American freedoms could become extinct.

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Health Insurance For Realtors

August 11th, 2018 Comments off

It has become quite a challenge to choose the right health insurance providers these days: there are many health insurance models, the features are unique for each of them, and not to mention the prices that also vary a lot.

And since costs are skyrocketing, the least you can do is to ask for quotes from several health insurance providers and compare between their offers. Managed care plans could be a good and responsible choice when you want a maximum quality for your money. Have a very close look at all the plans available, taking a decision for the entire family is really crucial.

It can be confusing for someone who doesn’t speak the language of health insurance providers to understand the various clauses in the contract. Be a savvy health consumer and learn how to deal with the hospital co-pays, the fees for the prescription drugs and the services that are not covered by the insurance. Health insurance providers are available in the private and the public sectors, but this is usually the case when you don’t have an employer-sponsored health insurance already.

When you are on your own, you definitely need to be careful to avoid paying a small fortune every month.

Another thing that should not be overlooked when analyzing the offers of various health insurance providers is the possibility of major life changes. Retirement, marriage and pregnancy bring changes to the health insurance policy. Even with employer-sponsored health insurance, the personal needs and the coverage benefits have to be compared in order to identify whether any additional service is necessary.

Always choose to continue medical collaborations with doctors, shop for proper baby care and only then be concerned about low premiums.

How to deal with health insurance providers when you have a pre-existing health condition? Health evaluation prior to the signing of the policy is common practice with many health insurance providers, and the pre-existing health problem is seldom covered.

Solutions are available for such cases too, but you need to find who to work with. Many states provide different types of coverage for patients labeled as high-risk consumers. Check with the official state organization and find out what possibilities and options you’ve got.

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Three Things to Consider in a Health Insurance Contract

August 3rd, 2018 Comments off

Very few people find the task of reading through contracts inspiring. After all, most contracts tend to be written by lawyers in a language (called legalese) which only they understand, yet they expect the documents to be assimilated by members of the general public. Matter are not made any easier by the fact that the most important elements of the typical contract, the elements that can have the biggest impact to both parties in the contract tend to be hidden deep in the contract’s fine print.

Yet failure to understand a health insurance contract can turn out to be a very big blunder, like when one is told that they will have to foot their medical bill for one obscure reason or another, with an even more obscure clause (in the health insurance contract they got themselves into) being quoted as the reason for their being denied coverage.

Whether or not you are comfortable with legalese, therefore, there are at least some three important things you have to ensure you are clear about before signing yourself into a health insurance contract, even if doing so means pushing yourself intellectually or even getting someone to interpret the legalese for you, as may be the case.

The first thing you should make an effort to understand in your health insurance contract before signing on the dotted line is the policies’ limitations, as most (if not all) health insurance providers tend to impose some limitations on their coverage, so that the typical health insurance policy will tend to cover some conditions and not others. And even for the conditions it covers, the typical health insurance policy offers coverage only up to a given bill amount. Yet these are crucial things that – if you are not careful – can overlook when signing your health insurance contract, only for them to turn around to haunt you later on.

The second thing you need to be very clear about before signing onto a health insurance contract is ‘when the health insurance coverage takes effect.’ As it turns out, in most cases, health insurance policies don’t take effect immediately you sign on the dotted line, and you could therefore find yourself having to pay (from your pocket) medical bills you incur between the time you sign a health insurance contract and the time the cover takes effect, while all the while thinking that you were covered.

And the third thing you need to make an effort to understand in your health insurance contract is what types of healthcare facilities claims on it can be made, and which healthcare facilities don’t qualify for reimbursement under the contract. As it turns out, healthcare providers tend to be choosy when it comes to healthcare providers to work with, with many opting not to pay for healthcare bills incurred in some facilities.

Before you choose a health insurance plan, you should compare health insurance plans to the the one that has cheap health insurance plans.