Health Insurance Facts to Know

How can health insurance help you out? Being an investment, it is imperative that people prioritize this expense along with many other financial responsibilities. Health insurance coverage should be there to support you and your family in times when you need immediate health care. Think of it as a nest egg where you can get funds from to pay for the various costs of medical treatment, hospitalization, medication, and more.

There are various types of health insurance plans that you can obtain, and there is an equally innumerable number of firms that offer such services. It can be a little challenging to choose one that is right for your budget, as well as tailor made to suit your health needs. Note that you don’t have to spend a fortune to be able to get insurance coverage. There are ways by which you can earn discounts and save, while at the same time receiving quality and reliable services from your insurance provider. All it takes is the right knowledge to be able to evaluate your health insurance priorities and lock down your choice of provider.

In line with this, this article presents some interesting statistics that you might want to keep in mind regarding health insurance plans in the United States. Knowing these important notes will help you make a wise decision with regards to choosing a plan for you and your family. Mentioned here is also vital news regarding the direction that the health insurance system in the US is headed.

How many people in the United States are without health insurance? Regardless of how important it is to be covered, there is a significant percentage of the population who has no resources to obtain their needed health policies. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, about 45 million people in the US have no health insurance. And that translates to roughly 15 percent of the population. The Hispanics have the most number of uninsured children and adults, which is about 32 percent of the total Hispanic population. On the other hand, 19 percent of the total African American population does not have health insurance, and around 10 percent of all whites are uninsured as well.

If you are interested to know, there are specific states that contribute the most to the uninsured adult statistics in the country. If nearly 20 percent of Americans aged 19 to 64 have no form of health insurance, which states significantly add to that number? To be more precise, Texas and New Mexico have almost a third of the total aged 19 to 64 population uninsured. On the other end of the spectrum, Massachusetts has the least number of uninsured adults in that age group, with only about 10 percent accounted by the Kaiser Health Foundation statistics.

How many children in the US are without any form of health insurance? This age group is considered as the minor group, comprised of children aged 18 and below. The CDC stated in a 2007 report that about 10 percent of the total minor population does not have health insurance. That means that there are 7 million children out there who may not be able to get afforded medical treatment. Which states have the most number of uninsured children? The Kaiser Health Foundation accounts that Texas ranks at the top of the list, with about 22 percent of the ages 0 to 18 population having no health insurance. Massachusetts is still the state with the least number of uninsured children, with only about 5 percent having no coverage.

In terms of the performance of insurance companies in the country, which are the ones that write the most number of health policies? As of the year 2007, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reports ten of the largest insurance firms in the US, with respect to their market shares. Topping that list with approximately 12 percent of the market share is the UnitedHealth Group. Second is WellPoint, Inc, having almost 10 percent of the market share. The third largest with 7.7 percent market share is the Kaiser Family Foundation. Blue Cross, which is among the oldest health insurance providers in the country, ranks ninth, with a market share of 1.7 percent.

On a final note, what does the American government intend to do in response to the ever growing health insurance needs of the country? Among the highest priorities of the new Obama administration is to focus on revamping and further developing the health insurance system in the US. About $150 billion is expected to be allotted for provision of more accessible and more affordable health insurance options for the population. In line with the recession which led to the loss of over 7 million jobs, $25 billion will be used to cover for nearly 65 percent of health insurance premiums for these employees.

To be able to answer to the health needs of children, it is expected that 5 million kids will be granted health insurance, as $87 billion will be for funding state health insurance programs, including the SCHIP or State Children’s Health Insurance, which assists minors from low income families as well. The rest of the funding will be for modernization of medical facilities, including access to records, as well as research for diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart conditions.

M.S. Kelley is the president of 1 800 Insurance Quotes [http://www.1800insurancequotes.com] where you can compare health insurance rates [http://www.1800insurancequotes.com/health-insurance.html] and research your health insurance needs.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/M_Kelly/326672

 

Don’t Get Caught Without Health Insurance Know the Facts

When it comes to preparedness, health insurance will always be your best bet. Because one cannot easily determine when he or she will need medical help, having a reliable health insurance plan will be very helpful in covering the costs of treatment and care. There are many factors one must consider before signing up for a health insurance policy. Since there are different types available, one needs to carefully assess his needs and also manage his allotted budget.

What do you need to know about health insurance? How can this help you and your family in times of need? Read on to learn about interesting facts about policies and coverage, so you can make the informed choice when buying health insurance for you and your family.

o In the United States, it has been reported that nearly 45 million Americans have no form of health insurance whatsoever. This accounts for about 15 percent of the total population as of the year 2006. As mentioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among the total population of Hispanics, 32 percent were uninsured. This is compared to 19 percent of all African-Americans, and 10 percent of all whites who do not have health insurance coverage.

o Of all the uninsured persons in the United States, about 7 million were minors, below the age of 18. This accounts for about 10 percent of the below 18 population of the country, as reported by the CDC. According to the new health insurance plan proposed by the administration of President Barack Obama, about $87 billion of government funds will be allotted for the improvement of state insurance programs, as well as the SCHIP, or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. This will expect to reduce the number of uninsured children in the country by up to 72 percent, giving minors better opportunities for health care.

o More on the uninsured: what percentage of the population ages 19 to 64 (non-elderly) do not have health insurance? The Kaiser Health Foundation reports that approximately 20 percent of adults in this age group are without any form of health insurance, as of the year 2007. Which states have the most number of uninsured adults? The same site reports that New Mexico and Texas top the list, with about 30 percent of people in this age group without health coverage. On the other hand, Massachusetts has the least uninsured adults, which only comprise about 10 percent of the total age group.

o Which states have the highest number of uninsured children, who are from ages 0 to 18 years old? As the Kaiser Health Foundation statistics present, Texas has about 22 percent of children without health insurance, with Florida following with 19 percent. Massachusetts also has the least percentage in this category, with only about 5 percent of children without health coverage.

o According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), about 34 percent of the nation has their own private health insurance plans, while nearly half of the population rely on government funded insurance programs. To be more specific, 19 percent are under MediCare, 15 percent under MedicAid and SCHIP, and another 12 percent from other select public insurance providers.

o The National Association of Insurance Commissioners reported in 2007 the insurance companies who have written the most premiums as of that year. Topping the list were UnitedHealth Group owning 11.7 percent of the market share, and WellPoint Inc. Group, with 9.75 percent of the market share. Kaiser Family Foundation follows in third with 7.7 percent market share in that same year. Among the oldest health insurance providers in the country, Blue Cross, is the ninth on the list, with approximately 1.72 percent of the market share.

o When comparing individual insurance plans and group insurance plans, you can expect to save more if you purchase multiple policies. However, according to some people who choose individual policies, they are able to tailor their plans to be in tune with their specific health needs. You can learn more on the pros and cons of these two types of health insurance when you consult with an insurance agent.

o During the economic recession in the United States, there were millions of people who have become unemployed. However, thanks to the new administration and the initiatives of President Obama, these employees can still reap the benefits of their health insurance plans, as the government intends to allot $25 billion. These will cover for as much as 65 percent of each employee’s health insurance premiums, according to a report by Reuters.

o Speaking of employment, even the insurance industry is responsible for contributing to the number of jobs available for people in the United States. In two of the largest states in the country, hundreds of thousands are able to find work through many opportunities provided by the state. In California, about 300,000 employees are in the insurance sector, while in Texas, the figure has reached above 216,000 as of 2006. Other states included among the top in the list are Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.

o According to the Health Insurance Association of America, the Franklin Health Insurance Company from Massachusetts was the very first firm to offer accident insurance, and this was in the year 1850. During this time, these policies were made available to employees of railroads and steamboats, who were prone to work-related injuries. Within a few decades, more organizations began to offer this type of insurance policy.

M.S. Kelley is the president of 1 800 Insurance Quotes [http://www.1800insurancequotes.com] where you can compare life insurance rates [http://www.1800insurancequotes.com/life-insurance.html] and research your life insurance needs.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/M_Kelly/326672

 

7 Reasons Consumer-Driven Health Care is Taking the Place of Traditional Insurance

Hello, my name is Jennifer. I am from Warren, OH which is about 20 mins. away from Youngstown. I want to talk for a few minutes about “health insurance”. Now you may or may not know about these issues but they are very important when choosing a health plan for you and your family, especially if any of these pertain to your specific situation.

For those of you that are not familiar with what “Consumer-driven Health Plans” are let’s take a few minutes to go over this topic. First, Consumer-driven Health Plans mean that YOU decide who you want as your primary health care provider. If you sign up with one of the Traditional insurance companies they have a list of providers that they work with and you as the consumer are stuck choosing one off their lists. Sometimes you will get lucky and the health care provider that you want to deal with in on those lists.

According to the annual BCBSA survey in 2007, the number of consumers using Consumer-driven Health Plans has increased by 25%. Interest in Consumer-driven Health Plan is growing rapidly. The Deloitte and Touche survey found that four out of ten employers alone plan to offer a Consumer-driven Health Plan to their employees in the near future. This trend is growing due to two main factors:

First, physician’s and consumers are frustrated by the restrictions and complexity of managed care. They hope that these plans will reduce the intrusion of health insurance into the practice of medicine and restore independence to the doctor-patient relationship. By eliminating the middle-man and different prices for the various providers, it allows the consumer to have one uniform fee schedule, physicians with greater patient satisfaction, and provides them with the quality care they require.

Second, many consumers are frustrated by higher deductibles and co-pays. They also find that the prescriptions that once were covered under their insurance plans now are not. Consumer-driven Health Plans give more control and flexibility to allow consumers to manage their own health care expenses. These Health Plans are becoming the more attractive option to Traditional Health Plans.

So, now that we have defined what Consumer-driven Health Plans mean, let’s focus on the problems people face and how Consumer-driven Health Plans can solve these problems for consumers.

Problem #1

Traditional Health Plans do NOT cover pre-existing conditions.

Solution

Consumer-driven Health Plans do not care what your situation is or who you are. They cover any type of condition pre-existing or otherwise no questions asked.

Problem #2

THP do not cover all prescription medications without prior authorization.

Solution

CDHP cover over 150 commonly prescribed medications at an average savings between 25% – 94% depending on the medication. There is no prior authorizations required.

Problem #3

THP do not cover certain diseases or conditions such as Lupus or Autism.

Solution

CDHP absolutely NO ONE is turned away or denied coverage due to any specific medical condition or chronic disease.

Problem #4

Certain THP require pre-authorization for tests such as MRI’s, CT scans, Ultrasounds, and Stress tests. The main companies that require these are BC/BS and Medical Mutual.

Solution

CHP save you between 20% – 64% on MRI’s, CT scans, Ultrasounds, and Stress tests. Savings depends on the test done. No prior authorizations required.

Problem #5

THP don’t cover diabetic supplies such as test strips, syringes, or glucometers if the consumer does not live in a nursing home. The meters alone are approximately $60 over the counter. Many products for incontinence are not covered by THP either.

Solution

CHP have a specific discount plan geared towards diabetics for one monthly charge it covers all their supplies for the month such as syringes, test strips, insulin, etc.

Problem #6

Consumers between the ages of 55 to 64 have the highest insurance premiums of any age group because they use more health care services than younger people. Conventional policies can cost close to $1,000 per month based on the fact the insured is in good health. Because the price is so high close to 15% of people within this age group are uninsured with women more likely to be without coverage.

Solution

CHP offer the same savings to the consumers between the ages of 55 to 64 as the consumers that are between 25 and 54. There are NO age limits.

Problem #7

Certain THP do not cover blood work and the cost to us as the consumer can range anywhere between $400 to $800 depending on what the primary health provider is testing for.

Solution

CHP can reduce the amount the you have to pay up to 30% sometimes even more depending on the circumstances.

OK, we’ve defined what CDHP is and also pointed out several critical issued that most consumers run into with Traditional Health Plans. So, the next step would be to locate a Consumer-driven Health Plan that solves all of these problems and provides a great savings to you and your family.

* NO WAITING PERIODS

* NO AGE LIMITS

* NO MEDICAL EXAMS

Jennifer Martinek
AmeriPlanUSA
JenniferM@ameriplan.net

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jen_Martinek/329123

 

Rethinking Health Insurance

Overview:

The cost of healthcare is driving a difficult dilemma — Few of us can take the risk of a major illness or injury which can often be many thousands of dollars, yet health insurance that offsets this significant financial risk can be very expensive. The combination of a High Deductible Health Insurance plan along with a tax favored Health Savings Account (H.S.A.) can be a sensible middle path; Health Insurance for major medical situations while the Health Savings Account allows you to set aside your own money for routine or future medical costs. If you are self-employed and are paying for your own healthcare insurance coverage, this can be a path to affordable medical insurance that still provides important financial protection. An H.S.A. qualified High Deductible Health Insurance policy still has the substantial protection of a major medical plan, just not the “low-end” benefits. Don’t be fooled by “Cheap” Health Insurance or “Affordable Healthcare” plans that limit benefits that you might need and still leaves you vulnerable to catastrophic medical expenses.

Two Parts:

  1. Health Insurance Component. A High-Deductible H.S.A. compliant health insurance contract.
  2. Savings Account Component. A tax advantaged “Health Savings Account.”

It is important not to confuse the two components.

The High-Deductible Health Insurance: It is your backstop to protect you from the financial risk of a major illness or severe injury. The health insurance contract completely stands on its own but is a prerequisite for the tax advantaged Health Savings Account. These insurance contracts are really misnamed. You can indeed have a H.S.A. compliant health plan with a range of deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket limits. Insurance companies offer a range of “H.S.A. compliant plans” with different features within the IRS rules — just find a plan that makes sense for you. Be sure that any plan you select is labeled as H.S.A. compliant or compatible. Very few of us can afford the healthcare costs of an illness such as cancer, heart attack or a severe injury. These costs can run into the hundreds of thousands. My older brother’s struggle with Lymphoma, for instance, resulted in over $500,000 in healthcare costs over two years. A High-Deductible Health Insurance is often lower cost because you are not buying the “low-end benefits” but it still offers financial protection similar to any “Major Medical” health insurance plan beyond the maximum out-of-pocket. This is a critical component to this overall healthcare finance strategy.

The Health Savings Account: An optional, tax advantaged savings account that you can use to set aside your own funds toward future medical costs. You are required to have a High-Deductible Health Insurance plan to take advantage of this exceptional tax deal. In 2009, the maximum contribution to your H.S.A. is $3000 for an individual account ($5950 for a family account) plus a “catch-up” contribution of an additional $1000 for people age 55 or more. This contribution limit is adjusted for inflation by the IRS each year. One of the very important advantages of the Health Savings Account is how broadly you can use the funds for healthcare expenses while retaining the tax savings. Examples are over-the-counter medicines, eye glasses, dental expenses and more. A second important advantage of a Health Savings Account is the tax impact. Essentially, the money you set aside in a tax year in this special account and then either retained or spent for qualified medical costs is reduced from your taxable income. A third very important benefit is with a Health Savings Account, if you don’t spend the money contributed, you keep it. What you contribute this year and don’t spend is retained for future healthcare expenses. Don’t confuse the H.S.A. with a “Health Reimbursement Account” (H.R.A.) which you may have had with an employer sponsored plan.

Core Advantages:

  1. Lower health insurance cost. Why pay for benefits you don’t use?
  2. Insurance protection for a major injury or illness. The “major medical” insurance protection of the High Deductible Health plan is a critical component.
  3. Tax Savings. Optional but productive tax deal with the Health Savings Account.
  4. Broad Eligible Expenses. Your H.S.A. funds can be spent for many different qualified healthcare costs.
  5. Use it or Keep it! Money you set aside in your H.S.A. can be spent for qualified medical bills but is retained if you don’t use it.

Is it a Good Fit?

This healthcare financing strategy, a High Deductible Health Plan paired with the Health Savings Account, is a good fit for many folks but not everyone. Here are the criteria that I want my clients to consider:

  1. Can I qualify? Normally, you have to be in good health before the health insurance company will make you an offer.
  2. Can I save? This strategy is better for folks that are willing to save for future healthcare costs.
  3. Can I decide? This strategy is better for folks that want to make choices on what to buy with their healthcare dollars.
  4. Can I spend? For this strategy to work safely, you have to be willing to spend your money when you need to for necessary healthcare expenses.

Summary:

I purposely have not focused on the tax rules, plan details, etc. Most folks get caught up with this extensive detail and become completely confused. The big picture is what I want you to see — This can be a great deal! — Buy health insurance for the catastrophic risk only and self-insure your normal healthcare costs with contributions to a Health Saving Account. You save on your insurance costs, save on your taxes and have an overall better outcome.

David W. Crump, Ross Gray Insurance Agency

I specialize in Business, Health and Personal Insurance sales and service.

Apply online for Health Insurance: http://www.quoteaustininsurance.com/highded

A graduate of Texas Tech University (BBA Marketing), I began my career in retailing of Toy, Hobbies and Games. I have been a business owner but changed careers to insurance after selling my interest in a Dallas area Game Store Chain thirteen years ago. Hobbies include Gardening, Music (Bass Vocal) and Stock Investing.

See our website at http://www.quoteaustininsurance.com/

Ross Gray Insurance Agency has a 30+ year history serving Central Texas on all facets of insurance. We are located in South Austin at 2404 S. IH-35. We are here to help!

Copyright 2009, Ross Gray Insurance Agency, Inc.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/David_Crump/317999

 

Pro and Cons of HMO and PPO Health Care Plans

Faced with ever-increasing medical costs, selecting the best health plan for you and your family requires informed decision-making on your part. There are two basic forms of employer sponsored health plans: HMO & PPO. Both of them have distinct advantages and disadvantages that you must be aware of in order to be able to make the best decision possible.

Families without a health plan receive far less preventative health care and very often, they are not diagnosed with a disease until it reaches later, less treatable stages. Compounding the problem, individuals without a health insurance plan, even after diagnosis, receive less treatment. Studies have shown that approximately 18,000 people die each year from inadequate medical care. Studies also show that individuals without a medical plan are hospitalized 30-50% more often for avoidable conditions. With an average emergency room visit costing $3,300, the investment in a health insurance is clearly worthwhile.

Managed Health Care Benefits

Managed health plans reduce medical costs to enrollees, allowing them to receive medical care that they might not otherwise be able to afford without a medical plan. Health insurance companies develop contracts with health care providers, promising to provide specific doctors and hospitals with more business through their health insurance. In return, doctors and hospitals agree to provide those services at a lower cost.

HMOs and PPOs are both managed medical plans that reduce the cost of medical treatment by combining contributions of enrollees and gaining the benefits of scale. There are other medical plan mechanisms put into place to reduce medical costs by encouraging such incentives as preventative care, enforcing limitations to coverage and increased beneficiary cost sharing. Each plan has advantages and disadvantages that must be considered. There are significant price, service, and flexibility differences between these two types of medical plans. Whichever medical plan you select, you will be able to receive more medical care for far less money than if you had no insurance at all.

HMOs Are An Inexpensive Option

HMOs, or Health Maintenance Organizations, are health plans characterized as cooperatives of doctors, hospitals, and other medical providers. HMOs such as Kaiser Permanente and Aetna are your least expensive and most restrictive health plan. Under HMO policies, health insurance providers have agreed to provide their services at fixed prices and copayments are generally very low. Since providers receive less money for their services, they tend to see as many patients as possible.

There are many rules covering HMO medical plan services, the most important one being the requirement that your physician be a member of the HMO. If you need to see a specialist, you must see your primary physician for a referral. HMOs focus primarily upon preventative services such as immunizations and physicals. HMO doctors are paid on a per office visit basis.

PPOs Cost More And Provide More

PPOs, or Preferred Provider Organizations, are health care plans that have contracts with insurance companies to reduce medical expenses to enrollees. PPOs like Blue Cross Blue Shield are more expensive than HMOs, but you have much more freedom about who you see. Referrals are not needed to see a specialist, but your medical plan will require that you pay more to see a doctor that is not a member of the PPO medical plan.

Enrolling in a PPO provides you with more control over your health care plan as well as greater autonomy. Unlike HMOs, emergency room visits are generally covered under PPO medical plans. PPO doctors are paid on a retainer basis, thereby providing them with no incentive to unnecessarily prolong treatment.

One aspect of a managed health care plan is that treatments are reviewed by the insurer. In some cases, this can eliminate unnecessary procedures and overcharging, thereby saving both the insurer and enrollees’ time and money. Whichever coverage you select, you will provide your family with access to the benefits of regular, preventative care and early diagnosis of more serious conditions, increasing the likelihood of recovery. Eat right, stay fit, and enroll in a health care plan!

Christine O’Kelly is a contributor writer for Health Insurance Finders. She conducts in depth research on topics such as HMO health plans and PPO health insurance. Health Insurance Finders is committed to help the consumer find the most appropriate medical insurance plan that best fit their needs.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Christine_O./333688

 

Massage in Bucharest

Recognize it! You’re busy! And so must be! That’s what life is like! But you want more than that, you want to do more for yourself and massage can help. Because massage makes more than a simple relaxation of the mind and body. It keeps your body in shape and gives you enough energy to make you enjoy a longer life better than you do it today.

Massage releases stress. At the moment, stress is a universal evil. Every time you are late, every time you avoid a car in traffic, every time you have trouble working, stress is doing his job. Each time adrenaline increases heart rate and cortisone levels and organs respond to the measure. You will be in a state of nerves and constant agitation.
When there is no release of stress, serious problems such as an upset stomach, hypertension, sleep disturbances, chest pain, or existing illness may worsen.

Some of the changes that may occur are: Anxiety, lack of concentration, depression, permanent fatigue, muscle or bone pain, sexual dysfunction, excessive sleep or insomnia

All these stress-related problems can be diminished and some can be totally eliminated by massage. The researchers concluded that a massage session can lower heart rate and blood pressure, relax your muscles and increase endorphin production. The massage also releases serotonin and dopamine and the result is a general relaxation, both physical and mental.
Our body care must be at the top of the priorities.
By adding the massage to your routine you will look much better and you will be much healthier and relaxed. Massage can improve your vitality and mood. Massage can prepare for a long and beautiful life.

Our masseuses personalize each massage session according to the needs of the individual.
Our massage parlors offer a variety of relaxation styles and techniques to help you. Apart from relaxing, massage can be a powerful ally in reducing pain, increasing energy levels, improving mental and physical performance

We recommend : HotAngels , VipZone , JadePalace , ThaiPassion

After a massage session, you will see how the mental prospects are enriched, the body allows easier handling, better pressure resistance, relaxation and mental alertness, calm and creative thinking.
When you have the impression or force yourself to stay straight, your body is not actually aligned properly. Not only does the posture look bad, but it forces some of the muscles to go muddy all day, while others become weaker. After a long time, the incorrect position may cause other drops. For example, internal organs press on what affects digestion, breathing ability is also diminished, which means that much less blood and oxygen reaches the brain and hence all sorts of other complications.

Massage allows you to return your body to the track. Allowing the body to make healthy and accurate movements is one of the greatest benefits of massage. Massage can relax and restore muscles injured by bad posture, allowing the body to position itself in a natural, painless position.
Apart from posture, there is also anxiety. One of the signs of anxiety and stress can also be heavy breathing. When the body begins to breathe too little and deeply instead of breathing at a natural rithm, it is impossible for one to relax. One reason may also be that the chest muscles and the abdomen get tightened and the air gets harder.

Massage plays an important role in learning the body how to relax and how to improve breathing. Respiratory problems such as allergies, sinuses, asthma or bronchitis are a group of conditions that can benefit from massage. In fact, massage can have a positive impact on respiratory function.

Many of the muscles in the front and back of the upper part of the body are breathing accessory. When these muscles are tight and shorten they can block normal breathing and interrupt effective breathing natural rithm. Massage techniques for stretching and relaxing these muscles improves breathing function and breathability. Massage leads to an opening of the chest as well as structural alignment and nerve dilatation that are required for optimal pulmonary function. A good way to treat respiratory problems with massage is the taping made in Swedish massage. When done on the back, along with vibrations, it can detach the mucus from the lungs and can clean the airways for better later function.

Massage not only relaxes muscles, but helps people become aware of daily stress levels. Once the body recognizes what really means relaxation, the mind can rest easily relax before the stress becomes cornice and harmful. This will help you enjoy a balanced life. Massage controls breathing, allows the mind to re-create relaxation before the occurrence of chronic and harmful stress and increases the level of energy.