The amount of wastage in the healthcare industry is staggering, amounting to over $1.2 Trillion! The findings are the results of studies done by the firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, who broke down exactly where so much of this overspending in the healthcare industry goes.
An astonishing $493 billion in healthcare waste is due to individuals engaging in poor lifestyle habits like smoking, alcoholism and being obese. Two of the other biggest money wasters are the performance of unnecessary tests and inefficiencies in claims processing, both of which cost $210 billion yearly. Patients who are sent home too early cost $25 billion, while other medical mistakes cost $17 billion. $21 billion comes from turnover of staff. Those who go to the ER for non-urgent care instead of to a primary care physician cost another $14 billion. People who get infections as a result of their hospital stays tally $3 billion. Prescription issues and errors account for another $5 billion. This totals over half of any given year’s spending on healthcare.
The U.S. government has been called to seriously address six of these areas in its proposed healthcare reform. These areas are ones in which government involvement could actually effect change. They include excessive wasteful medical testing, the claims processing procedure, the abuse of ER services, medical mistakes, early release of hospitalized patients and the cost of infections caught during hospitalizations. Despite the fact that groups are calling on the government to work on these issues, the probability is that it will take years before change is actually seen.
High blood pressure is one of those things that is more likely to occur as you age. However, it is not an inevitable condition. In fact, whether or not high blood pressure is a condition unto itself or a symptom of something larger is a point for discussion. High blood pressure causes a wide variety of other serious medical issues and is often a red light that makes health care providers stop and take a patient more seriously. However, often the patient himself neglects to pay attention to the gravity of the issue of high blood pressure and may continue to make poor lifestyle changes.
For those whose doctor has informed them that they have high blood pressure or are at risk for it, there are important changes that they can make to help their condition. In fact, some people may be able to reduce their blood pressure enough to avoid medications altogether. The things you need to do include the following.
- Limit your alcoholic intake to 2 servings per day for men and 1 serving for women.
- Exercise aerobically on a regular basis.
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Quit smoking immediately.
- Lower the amount of sodium you consume in your diet. You should only have approximately 1 teaspoon or 2300 milligrams of salt daily.
- Make sure you eat a diet that is rich in vegetables, fruit and low fat dairy products. Consume less fat, especially saturated fat.
If your doctor prescribes one of the multiple kinds of drugs on the market to treat high blood pressure, it is important to follow his or her directions carefully. Highs and lows in your blood pressure due to improper use of a medicine can be dangerous and high blood pressure is dangerous enough already. Some of the things it can directly lead to include heart failure, heart attacks, kidney disease and stroke. Treatment for high blood pressure or hypertension has conclusively been shown to reduce the occurrence of strokes, heart failure and heart attacks.
An important aspect in your treatment for high blood pressure or even prehypertension is regular doctor visits and medications. Having good medical insurance is a great benefit to anyone suffering from hypertension and needing such treatment, because it makes it so much more accessible. If you are looking for affordable medical insurance, look no further than BestHealthCareRates.com. The website gives you quotes from a variety of insurers in your area. Regardless if you are looking for family medical insurance or private medical insurance plans, BestHealthCareRates.com is the best place to start.
Even if you already have group medical insurance you may be surprised to learn how much you could be saving with an individual plan. If you have any of the risk factors for high blood pressure like a family history of the disease, being a smoker, overweight or sedentary, you need to make sure you have the best medical insurance plan you can. Get started today with BestHealthCareRates.com.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD, as the illness is called, is a very difficult disorder to diagnose. Though many of its symptoms are real and have a major impact on those suffering from them, they are also typically difficult to measure. Feelings of anxiety, worry, irritability and restfulness are just a few of the incredibly subjective symptoms of GAD. The fact that everyone feels such things at one point or another just increases the level of difficulty in diagnosing GAD.
Faced with the challenge to diagnose this disorder, doctors often start with a series of questions to help them gauge their patients. A review of their medical history and a physical exam are also a part of the preliminary investigation. Medical tests are often performed in order to rule out physical conditions being the cause of the symptoms a person is experiencing. Presently there are no diagnostic tests specifically for GAD, therefore tests to eliminate other options is the most scientific way in which to proceed because so many of the symptoms are similar to those of other illnesses.
The other challenge in terms of diagnosis is the fact that many of the symptoms must be of sufficient duration and intensity in order to arrive at a diagnosis of GAD. The standard of measure adopted by doctors is that symptoms must have been present for at least 91 days out of the past 6 months. In addition the symptoms must cause problems for the patient in his or her daily life. If work, school or other obligations are compromised because of the symptoms, the diagnosis of GAD is more likely.
Once a doctor suspects GAD, he will usually refer his patient to a psychiatrist or psychologist for further evaluation. GAD is a mental illness and is most effectively treated by those who are trained in such specialties. GAD sufferers typically receive a two-faceted form of treatment, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication. A wide variety of drugs commonly used for treatment of mental illness are possible options for GAD treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps patients recognize the signs of GAD, so they can then make changes in their thinking process and behaviors in order to diminish anxiety. Other treatments include biofeedback, deep breathing and other relaxation techniques.
Anyone with GAD faces long term medical treatment, as it is a problem that is managed not cured. For this reason it is imperative to carry good medical insurance. For those who do not have group medical insurance or suspect that their group coverage is overpriced, BestHealthCareRates.com is a great place to look for affordable medical insurance. The quote tool found on the site will quickly and easily help you to find a variety of medical insurance plans from companies serving your geographic area. They make it easy to compare and contrast the different options you have available to you.
If Generalized Anxiety Disorder runs in your family or even if you or another of your immediate family members has been diagnosed with it, check out BestHealthCareRates.com. For family medical insurance or individual health plans, BestHealthCareRates.com is the best place for you to effectively and efficiently shop for quotes.
More and more people today are turning away from drugs, heavily processed foods and anything chemical and are striving to live a more natural lifestyle. This is easy when it comes to choosing a more natural diet or environmentally friendly cleaning options. However when it comes to illnesses that require medications, it is much more difficult to say no to drugs. For those who suffer from GAD or generalized anxiety disorder however, there are multiple all-natural ways to reduce symptoms and help to keep them under control. Natural methods will also lower your healthcare costs overall.
So many of the symptoms of GAD tend to be things that can be improved with some concentrated effort, including attention to your body and lifestyle. By making these efforts symptoms will be reduced and you will feel better overall.
- Eliminate or at least drastically cut the amount of caffeine you consume. This includes caffeine from coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolate.
- Treat your body well by eating a healthy well-balanced diet and exercising regularly.
- When faced with stressful life events, get therapy or at least take part in a support group to help you deal with the impact of the events on your GAD.
- Tread cautiously when it comes to taking alternative remedies or even over-the-counter medications. Many such things cause side effects which may exacerbate your GAD symptoms. This is very important for those striving for a natural lifestyle. "Natural" things can cause problems in our systems also.
- Take up activities that induce relaxation like yoga and meditation in order to keep stress under control.
These steps are very helpful in getting your GAD under control and may even be a good complement to other treatments for the condition. If you have a mild case of generalized anxiety disorder, you may be able to keep it under control using these methods. However, it is important to realize that GAD is indeed a real medical condition and must be treated as such. The causes include not only your environment and the stressors in your life, but also factors beyond your control such as chemical imbalances in the brain and genetic tendencies. Be sure to have check-ups with a doctor on a regular basis.
If you have or suspect you may have GAD, it is important to have access to good medical insurance coverage. The treatments beyond these natural methods of anxiety reduction should be overseen by a doctor, who can properly diagnose and treat the condition. Whether or not you have group medical insurance, checking out BestHealthCareRates.com for prices on affordable medical insurance coverage is the way to go.
Many who are looking for individual or family medical insurance are pleasantly surprised by the results from BestHealthCareRates.com, which offers a variety of quotes from companies offering medical insurance plans in your area in no time. You can get affordable medical insurance by checking around. For GAD and so many other illnesses, the right plan can make all the difference in your treatment, life and finances.
Recently completed studies of individuals over a 40 year period have shown that high cholesterol levels in middle age increase your chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease as you get older. Surprisingly, even a slight elevation in total cholesterol makes the likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s higher. However, the good news is that high cholesterol can be reduced quite easily.
If you have high cholesterol, meaning your cholesterol is over 240, or you have borderline high cholesterol, with readings between 200 and 239, you can take control of it yourself. Often by making the proper lifestyle changes you can reduce your cholesterol levels to a healthy number. This means eating better and avoiding items which contribute to high cholesterol; eating more fish or taking fish oil supplements; and exercising on a regular basis. By doing these things you can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s as you age.
There are also a variety of drugs on the market to help reduce high cholesterol. For those who are not helped by lifestyle changes alone or whose numbers are simply too high, medication to deal with this issue is the best route. Such drugs, as with any drugs, may cause a variety of side effects and you should also be careful for drug interactions when using them.
Cholesterol is a substance, which blocks the blood vessel walls. It is more of a cause than a disease itself. It accumulates and blocks the blood from flowing within the vessels. This leads to heart blockages and heart disease. You can help your heart stay healthy by reducing your high cholesterol.
It is very important to check your cholesterol levels on a regular basis, especially if you have any of the risk factors for high cholesterol. Some people are genetically predisposed to high cholesterol. If you have family members with it, you may want to be tested earlier and more often because your risk may be elevated. Being overweight, having poor eating habits and not exercising enough will also put you at risk for high cholesterol and consequently Alzheimer’s. If this is you, get checked out. It’s a simple blood test that can make a huge difference to your future. Keeping cholesterol under control will not only help your brain as you age, it will also help your heart.
If you are at risk or if you have high cholesterol, it is important to get medical follow-up and have regular yearly check-ups, which include cholesterol monitoring. In order to do so without worrying about medical costs, it is a good choice to carry medical insurance. More and more households are going without family medical insurance because companies are cutting group medical insurance to save money, but it can be surprisingly affordable. In fact, by using BestHealthcareRates.com when you are shopping for affordable medical insurance you will receive a variety of quotes to compare and contrast from companies offering medical insurance plans in your part of the country. Get a quote now. It’s quick and simple and you’ll be on your way to a healthier heart and brain.
There are some alarming statistics regarding the state of socialized health care in Britain, as compared to the United States' private medical insurance system in its present state. Despite the fact that the health care system in this country is flawed and there is an excessive amount of waste while many Americans are slipping through the cracks, the current system still outperforms Britain in terms of healthcare and mortality rates in many different areas.
Even though high-profile Britons like Stephen Hawking champion the healthcare system of his country, the statistics speak for themselves. American women with breast cancer outlive their British counterparts almost 2 to 1. Angioplasties are done less than 25% as often as they are done in the U.S. This is a very useful preventative procedure to delay heart problems. Death due to heart attacks is 20% higher there than in this country. Prostate cancer is fatal for 57% of British sufferers, while only 19% of American men with it die as a result.
Critics of the socialized system find its policies concerning healthcare alarming. Those suffering from macular degeneration used to have to wait until they had lost sight in one eye before becoming eligible for a pricey new drug to save eyesight in such cases. Another policy reduced the number of steroid injections that could be given for back pain from 60,000 a year to 3,000.
The wait time for healthcare is a big factor for many people's fear of the government run healthcare insurance system. Wait times in Britain for most procedures are double what they are in the U.S. For cancer treatments, patients may wait up to one year and often patients who might have been saved turn into incurable cases before they start treatment. The number of diagnostic machines like MRIs and CT scanners is much lower per capita than in America. That also affects the speed at which diagnostic testing is done.
You want to be able to say ‘No thanks, I've got private medical insurance' when they come by with the health care reform package. By having your own medical insurance plan, you retain control of your own healthcare and isn't that the way it should be?
Uninsured individuals, or those using out of network providers are being billed up to 1000% more by medical providers, than those medical providers would bill Medicare for the exact same procedure.
This sort of abuse happens when people are without medical insurance or choose to use out-of-network healthcare providers. Even though our government has focused much of its attention on how much medical insurance companies pay, the real question is what are providers charging those who have no one to negotiate for them?
This area of concern, the fees being charged to the uninsured, is one aspect of healthcare that the government's reform policy has not touched. However, it should because there is no recourse for those who are overcharged and no guidelines in place so doctors know what to expect and patients know their options. This is yet another aspect of healthcare that needs to be addressed but is currently being neglected.
Until the government puts a better system in place, the best way to control healthcare costs is to be sure to carry good medical insurance. There are a variety of medical insurance plans out there including ones that allow use of health care providers of choice and they pay a significant portion of the costs. Investigating the various plans available will help find the one that best meets users' needs and help them avoid being overcharged by providers who try to take advantage of patients.
GAD or generalized anxiety disorder is a condition that is characterized by excessive worrying and anxiety over any number of things that are typically not topics of concern for the average person. Someone afflicted with GAD will typically find daily events cause him or her to be overwrought with anxiety. In addition, the level of stress and worry that they associate with practically everything is excessive. This high level of anxiety tends to cause social, work and relationship problems for those affected with the illness.
An important fact has been discovered that almost all people who suffer from GAD are also afflicted with other disorders. These disorders can range from a variety of mental illnesses such as obsessive-compulsive disorder to depression. They may also suffer from extreme phobias or substance abuse. What complicates this further is that substance abuse especially, tends to exacerbate generalized anxiety disorder.
Many of the symptoms that are typical of GAD are also common to many other mental illnesses. They include:
- Excess worry
- Feeling on edge
- Unrealistic world views
- Difficulty concentrating
- Frequent urination
- Sleep problems
- Tense muscles
- Unrealistic problem solving capabilities
The causes of GAD are the same as the causes of many other mental illnesses. Heredity tends to contribute to the illness. Chemical imbalances in the brain are another cause. Events in a person's life that are particularly traumatic or stressful can also lead to GAD. Such events can also worsen the anxiety level of someone with GAD, particularly things like high stress or withdrawal from dependencies.
Even the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder is similar to other mental disorders. The medications prescribed for it are also prescribed for other such illnesses. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques and biofeedback are all used for this category of illnesses. Luckily this also means that if a patient is treated for GAD, accompanying disorders like depression, phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder may also improve.
If you are at risk for GAD, have family members with the illness or have been diagnosed with it, good medical insurance is a must. Even if you presently have group medical insurance, you may be paying too much for it or it may have too many limitations in place to be beneficial to you when you really need it. Anyone with GAD faces treatment that will likely continue for a lifetime, as there is no "cure" for the condition. Therefore it is important to have medical insurance that will meet your needs.
To find the most affordable medical insurance for you, go to BestHealthCareRates.com for an instant quote. We provide quotes from the top companies in your area offering family health insurance and individual medical insurance plans. They make shopping around and comparing costs simple and quick. Get started now and in no time you'll have lots of options to choose from, so you can rest easy when it comes to all your healthcare needs.
Let me begin by saying the system is broken, but it can be fixed. I will try to lay it out as I see it.
Insurance premiums are established based on health care costs plus the insurers profit and overhead. Insurers are required to publish their "loss ratio" this is the amount that they pay out in claims for every dollar collected in premiums. In California most of the top insurers have loss ratios between 78% and 82%. That means that out of every premium dollar collected about 80 cents is paid back to the insured in the form of claims paid. This leaves 20 cents out of every dollar to cover the insurance companies overhead, taxes, employee salaries, profit etc. In California, Anthem Blue Cross makes about 3 cents profit out of every dollar collected.
The problem that we have is "health care costs" spiraling out of control. This is hospital charges, doctor charges, drug charges etc. As these charges go up so does the cost of insurance. As the cost goes up fewer people can afford medical insurance. So the insurance companies look for ways to bring down the cost of insurance, this they have done by reducing the coverage offered by their plans. Creating a situation where cost for insurance goes up, but benefits decrease. For some reason many people do not see much beyond this point and blame the insurance companies for all of the problems in the industry.
However, you do not need to look very hard to find the reasons for the rising healthcare costs.
- The GOVERNMENT reports that it losses 30% to Medicare fraud...The government collects taxes to cover Medicare and 30% of the total collected to cover Medicare is lost to fraud. This is staggering! In 2010 that will amount to about $200 BILLION.
- Hospitals over bill millions of patients every year. It is almost accepted as a normal practice nowadays. But this practice of over billing is costing us all billions of dollars per year. To further exacerbate this problem, hospitals make it very difficult to price comparison shop their services. I have called many hospitals and asked the price they charge for various services or medications and more often than not they will not give their price information.
- Defensive medicine. Medical providers in fear of been sued make sure they cover all bases by ordering every test and procedure imaginable.
- Waste in medical practices. As an example at my local hospital when nurses are dispensing insulin, they draw one dose out of the vile for a patient then throw the vile away. But they charge the patient for the whole vile. What they should be doing is sterilizing the needle before inserting it into the vile, taking what they need and putting the vile back on the shelf. I have tried to get the cost of a vile of Insulin from a couple of hospitals but they would not tell me, even though I spent one and half hours on hold...switching between departments. I found this to be very concerning!
- Obesity. It is now official, 40% of Americans are obese. And this 40% of the population costs 40% more in medical treatments than the rest of the population. We have to take responsibility for our own health.
- Hospitals are required by law to accept all patients whether they have insurance coverage or not. Many people who do not have insurance coverage, visit the emergency room for simple things that could be handled in a doctor's office. A very large percentage to these charges go unpaid, so the hospitals pass these costs on to those with medical insurance coverage. With nearly 50 million uninsured this is a major cause of escalating hospital charges.
These among others, are some of the reasons we have a broken healthcare system. PricewaterhouseCoopers recently estimated that our current system wastes about $1.2 TRILLION per year, that is 50% of the total cost of our healthcare system.
This is why it makes no sense when the current administration talks of health INSURANCE reform. Do not get me wrong, insurance companies are not blameless, but they are not a major contributor to the problem.
This is why if the government continues on its current path of health insurance reform, it will not fix the problems in our system. All it will do is the further bury the problem, and then we will all be tax more to cover the unseen problems.
If you are insured by Anthem Blue Cross you do have options to help you to lower your medical insurance costs. If you have been putting off applying for health insurance, now would be a good time before the rate increase takes effect.
Your options are:
1. Anthem Blue Cross has a website at www.changemycoverage.com. It is very easy to use and you can compare all of their plans and rates to your current plan. If you find a plan that meets your needs at a lower premium, you can apply online to change to the new plan.
2. Go to www.BestHealthcareRates.com where you can compare all of the medical insurance plans offered by all of the major insurance companies. Compare plans from companies such as Blue Shield, Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, PacifiCare, Kaiser, Celtic, Assurant, Health Net and many more. You can apply online for any of these plans at www.BestHealthcareRates.com .
3. Call us at 877-812-5111 and we would be happy to help you find and apply for a plan that would better suit your needs. I hope you find these sites useful. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help!
Have a great day!
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama:
We are all aware that the greatest barrier to accessing medical insurance coverage in America today is cost. Skyrocketing medical care costs are the key factor in rising medical insurance premiums that put the cost of health insurance coverage beyond the reach of millions of Americans. As a health insurance agent, I am all too familiar with the increasing costs of medical insurance plans and the burden it places on all Americans. So I urge you, as comprehensive health care reform is considered before Congress, please realize that the best way to expand access to health insurance coverage is to work toward containing health care costs. America needs health insurance coverage we can afford!
Health care costs are not expensive because of insurance; rather, insurance is expensive because of the rising cost of medical care, and by the increased demand created by unhealthy lifestyle choices. Insurance companies are not simply increasing premiums to increase their profits, but to cover the expanding cost of health care.
PricewaterhouseCoopers calculated the health insurance industry's profit at barely three cents per dollar. New government programs and mandates, albeit designed to help Americans gain access to health care coverage, would significantly raise health care costs and spending for the federal government as well as for millions of American business and families. Thus, health care coverage would be just as unaffordable as it is today.
Many of the topics that need to be addressed to truly lower health care costs in the country are not ones that I have particular expertise in, however, as a health insurance agent and employee benefit specialist, I do have an extensive knowledge of health insurance markets and factors that directly drive up health insurance claims costs and consequently health insurance premiums. Congress and America must turn its attention to wellness programs and improving system inefficiencies as starting point for making health care affordable for all Americans. Nearly 50% of health care costs in America are attributed to individual behaviors such as smoking, alcohol abuse and obesity. We must establish wellness programs for Americans that work to help us cut our unhealthy lifestyle choices. Providing incentives to strive to eat more nutritiously and be more active and healthy will result in fewer doctor visits and medical procedures. If we can help contain the increasing costs of health care by simply helping America make healthier choices, why wouldn't we?
We also must focus on our current health care system's tendency to reward quantity-not quality-of care. Duplication of procedures and overuse of high‑end procedures in situations where they add little value just further increases costs. We need to work on increasing communications between doctors through electronic medical record technology, establish comparative effectiveness research that helps determine when more expensive treatments are needed or just superfluous, and provide incentives for doctors and medical facilities to improve system inefficiencies and eliminate costly errors through pay for performance, best practice guidelines and support for evidence‑based medicine.
In addition, health system reform and reducing costs can no longer ignore the need for balanced and sensible medical liability reform. Numerous studies indicate that doctors and other medical professionals unfortunately practice a lot of "defensive medicine" that drives up costs but adds little value to healthy outcomes just so they can steer clear of possible junk lawsuits.
It is a critical time for our health care system and we need to ensure increased access of health care to all Americans. We cannot simply open doors to health care; we must strive to make sure health care is affordable. Now is the time to work together and find ways to contain the skyrocketing health costs that burden all of America. We need to work towards containing health care costs not just expanding health care.
An increasing number of families are removing family medical insurance from their budgets in an effort to cut costs. Reports estimate that 50 million Americans go without health insurance, leaving families vulnerable to financial struggles that can result from unexpected medical expenses. Financial experts encourage families to obtain family health insurance to prevent additional financial hardship and even bankruptcy due to medical debt. Families can find ways to cut-back on unnecessary spending in order to make paying for insurance premiums possible.
Furthermore, identifying more affordable medical insurance plans can help families to find coverage that works within their budget constraints. Insurance experts are available to help families understand the sometimes confusing insurance language in order to help them analyze plans and find the one to meet their needs. By knowing the differences between the family medical insurance plans available, families can make informed decisions as to which plan is the best match. From basic coverage to catastrophic plans to comprehensive insurance, families have a variety of options available to them.
Families may want to review their usage of medical services during the past five years to determine how often they are likely to be using the insurance policy. While one family may decide a basic plan can meet their needs, another family may prefer the complete coverage a comprehensive medical insurance plan offers.
Finding the right family medical insurance plan can be both confusing and overwhelming, but it is a vital part of protecting your family’s future. At www.BestHealthcareRates.com we enjoy walking families through the process of selecting a plan that can give them solid coverage at the price they need, which is why we offer one-on-one consultations for each and every new customer.
Do you know enough about the different options for medical insurance plans? It is important to compare and contrast the details of each plan, so you may choose the one insurance plan that is best for your medical needs and budget.
If you are in the market for medical insurance plans, you may want to consider taking a look at a variety of plans in order to determine which one is right for your needs and budget. Taking the time to compare and contrast plans will help you to really analyze the details of each plan, so that there will not be surprises once you are paying premiums and utilizing the coverage. For example, few plans actually cover Viagra prescriptions, but if this is an important benefit to you, then you need to make sure the insurance plan you choose includes this prescription.
It is surprising how many people sign up for medical insurance plans without knowing exactly what the plan covers. There are story after story of women who become pregnant and then learn their insurance does not provide maternity benefits, or individuals who have a physician preference and then become angry when they realize their new insurance plan doesn't cover a particular doctor. That's why getting to know different plans can help you to make the wisest decision possible.
Analyzing the Plans
While it may not as exciting as shopping for a new car, shopping for the medical insurance plans is just as important-if not more important. In fact, while most people can get used to a new car of any kind, it is a different story when it comes to insurance plans. Individuals have unique needs that can only be met by certain plans. Below are some of the most common types of plans you can consider:
- PPOs also known as Preferred Provider Organizations: These plans are designed to give comprehensive medical insurance coverage through a number of various doctors and medical specialists as well as through hospitals and medical clinics ; there is no need for referrals. With a PPO, you can also go outside of the network to receive care; however, the costs you pay out-of-pocket will be higher with a non-PPO provider.
- HMOs also known as Health Maintenance Organizations-These plans are typically known as the most affordable medical insurance plan. They give comprehensive medical coverage, but you must stay within the HMO network of doctors and hospitals. Also, you must have a primary care physical who provides all referrals for specialists.
- HSA qualified plans and Health Savings Accounts-The purpose of these accounts is to make a way for high-deductible coverage. The idea is that although you may pay more up-front for medical care, your premiums will be significantly lower. These HAS accounts offer a tax-free medical savings account that can help you to pay for those initial costs before insurance kicks in.
- FFS plans or Fee For Service-These plans provide possibly the most affordable option, but do not offer comprehensive coverage or preventative care. You pay out-of-pocket for all medical appointments and services and then the FFS plan will reimburse you a certain, pre-determined percentage of your cost.
Once you have an understanding about these different types of plans and can identify your personal insurance needs, you will be able to make a wise decision for the best affordable medical plan.
Businesses struggling in the current economic climate are seeking new ways to improve the bottom line, and group medical insurance
is proving to be a beneficial tool for creating better business. From tax incentives to employee retention, offering group health insurance
to employees can provide a win-win situation for both employer and employee.
Also known as an employer-sponsored health plan, group medical insurance is on the chopping block for many businesses that are trying to cut costs and keep their companies afloat. Because most Americans receives family health insurance coverage through an employer-sponsored group plan, the elimination of these health plans could result in major financial struggles for working Americans.
However, business owners who chose to keep a group medical insurance plan as part of their employee benefits package are discovering that it improves not only employee moral but also the bottom line. They are more likely to attract the best workers and are able to decrease employee turnover rates. As for improving business finances, group medical insurance plans pave the way for tax incentives.
Business owners who contribute to employee premiums or share costs with employees, can typically deduct 100% of premiums paid. In addition, it is possible to reduce payroll taxes when the medical insurance coverage is part of a total compensation package.
"Having quality employees is vital to a good business, and providing group medical insurance is vital to obtaining and maintaining quality employees. Even if the business budget is tight, it is still possible to find an affordable medical insurance
package that keeps employees happy, protected and performing well to benefit your business.
Insurance companies are known for competing against each other for business, but customers can use this to their advantage in the search for the best rates for medical insurance. Customers have the opportunity to demand individualized services that can help them to determine which medical insurance
plan is right for unique health and financial needs.
Whether one loses a job, starts a new business, retires early or works for a company that does not provide group medical insurance, many people will be faced with having to shop for individual medical insurance or family health insurance coverage in their lifetimes. Rather than receiving coverage through an employer-sponsored insurance program, these customers will need to shop in the individual market, which includes a variety of insurance policies from self-only coverage to family medical insurance.
Although insurance rates tend to be higher in the individual market in comparison to the group insurance market, which has costs spread amongst a number of people, it is still possible to obtain affordable medical insurance.
The first step to finding the right plan for individual needs is to determine the dollar amount available in the personal budget for premiums. Then, insurance shoppers can analyze different plans, comparing and contrasting, to learn as much as possible about each medical insurance plan. By getting to know the details of the insurance plan prior to purchase, there will not be surprises in coverage or non-coverage in the future.
"It is important for medical insurance shoppers in the individual market to fully understand the details of different medical insurance plans, so they can make the best choice for their medical needs and budget requirements," said Tom Carolan, Director of Client Services with BestHealthcareRates.com. "That's why we provide one-on-one consultation services to walk customers through the process and help them to understand all aspects of the medical insurance coverage available to them."
The proposed healthcare reform bill contains many items that are causing a great deal of concern; raising the question, why is the administration in such a hurry to pass this bill? Many feel that the bill is too important to be rushed; it must solve problems in the healthcare system, not create new problems and exacerbate old ones. Solving current system inefficiencies is a critical first step to resolving our healthcare crisis.
The federal Health Care Financing Administration, which oversees Medicare & Medicaid (the parts of the healthcare system which are run by the government), estimates that the government loses 30 cents to every dollar from fraudulent practices in the medical community. This is a huge problem that must not be ignored; especially when you consider that the combined total spending that is projected in 2010 for Medicare & Medicaid is $675 billion! That is over $200 billion of taxpayer's money that is being wasted in the current government run healthcare system!
Hospitals, doctors and other medical professionals think part of the blame lies with the complexity of the system itself. Ironically, the proposed bill has over 1000 pages and is being rushed through congress, not affording those concerned sufficient time to evaluate the provisions within the bill.
From the bill's first 500 pages, here are some of the items being referred to as unconstitutional:
Page 22: Mandates audits of all employers that self-insure!
Page 29: Admission: your health care will be rationed!
Page 30: A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process)
Page 42: The "Health Choices Commissioner" will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice.
Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services.
Page 58: Every person will be issued a National ID health card.
Page 59: The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.
Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans (read: SEIU, UAW and ACORN)
Page 72: All private healthcare plans must conform to government rules to participate in a Healthcare Exchange.
Page 84: All private healthcare plans must participate in the Healthcare Exchange (i.e., total government control of private plans)
Page 91: Government mandates linguistic infrastructure for services; translation: illegal aliens
Page 95: The Government will pay ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government-run Health Care plan.
Page 102: Those eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled: you have no choice in the matter.
Page 124: No Company can sue the government for price-fixing. No "judicial review" is permitted against the government monopoly. Simply put, private insurers will be crushed.
Page 127: The AMA sold doctors out: the government will set wages.
Page 145: An employer MUST auto-enroll employees into the government-run public plan. No alternatives.
Page 126: Employers MUST pay healthcare bills for part-time employees AND their families.
Page 149: Any employer with a payroll of $400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays an 8% tax on payroll
Page 150: Any employer with a payroll of $250K-400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays a 2 to 6% tax on payroll
Page 167: Any individual who doesn't have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income.
Page 170: Any NON-RESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes (Americans will pay for them).
Page 195: Officers and employees of Government Healthcare Bureaucracy will have access to ALL American financial and personal records.
Page 203: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." Yes, it really says that.
Page 239: Bill will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors and the poor most affected."
Page 241: Doctors: no matter what specialty you have, you'll all be paid the same (thanks, AMA!)
Page 253: Government sets value of doctors' time, their professional judgment, etc.
Page 265: Government mandates and controls productivity for private healthcare industries.
Page 268: Government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs.
Page 272: Cancer patients: welcome to the wonderful world of rationing!
Page 280: Hospitals will be penalized for what the government deems preventable re-admissions.
Page 298: Doctors: if you treat a patient during an initial admission that results in a re-admission, you will be penalized by the government.
Page 317: Doctors: you are now prohibited from owning and investing in healthcare
Page 318: Prohibition on hospital expansion. Hospitals cannot expand without government approval.
Page 321: Hospital expansion hinges on "community" input: in other words, yet another payoff for ACORN.
Page 335: Government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures: i.e., rationing.
Page 341: Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans, HMOs, etc.
Page 354: Government will restrict enrollment of SPECIAL NEEDS individuals.
Page 379: More bureaucracy: Telehealth Advisory Committee (healthcare by phone).
Page 425: More bureaucracy: Advance Care Planning Consult: Senior Citizens, assisted suicide, euthanasia?
Page 425: Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. Mandatory. Appears to lock in estate taxes ahead of time.
Page 425: Government provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death.
Page 427: Government mandates program that orders end-of-life treatment; government dictates how your life ends.
Page 429: Advance Care Planning Consult will be used to dictate treatment as patient's health deteriorates. This can include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. An ORDER from the GOVERNMENT.
Page 430: Government will decide what level of treatments you may have at end-of-life.
Page 469: Community-based Home Medical Services: more payoffs for ACORN.
Page 472: Payments to Community-based organizations: more payoffs for ACORN.
Page 489: Government will cover marriage and family therapy. Government intervenes in your marriage.
Page 494: Government will cover mental health services: defining, creating and rationing those services.
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I don't think anyone disagrees that we do need health care reform. But I think many are truly concerned about the cost of a completely new system versus fixing the problems in the system we have. When the USA became a free country it embraced an ideology of free market enterprise and small government.
At the time the constitution was written the damage that can be caused by letting a government become too big and too powerful was all too apparent. I think this is a valid concern today.
In government the most powerful senators are the ones that control the largest budgets. Obviously healthcare is huge! Management systems in Washington work in reverse of the free market system. In Washington budgets are reduced if they are not spent in the previous year, so the emphasis is to grow your budget. Larger budgets equate to more power and control for your department. In the free market system CEO's are rewarded for reducing costs and saving money, while continuing to maintain a healthy budget for research and development. Free market system is more efficient and more likely to achieve the results we need in our healthcare system.
Insurance companies have abused their position for far too long, but they are not the lone abusers of the system. Every year the legal system is used to support fraudulent efforts to extract billions of dollars from the system.
Hospitals are guilty of over billing millions of patients every year. The federal Health Care Financing Administration, which oversees Medicare, is also taking a hard look at hospital over billing because they estimate that the government loses 30 cents to every dollar from fraudulent practices in the medical community. The medicare budget for 2010 is $675 Billion so that is more than $200 billion lost to fraud! Hospitals, doctors and other medical professionals think part of the blame lies with the complexity of the medicare system itself.
It has recently been shown in the death of Michael Jackson how medical practitioners can use their license to support the drug habits of their patients. More people died every year in the USA from prescribed drugs than from illegal street drugs! All of these issues if corrected, would save billions of dollars every year. And this does not begin to deal with how much could be saved if people lived healthier lifestyles. 40% of the American population is now obese. And this 40% of the population uses 40% more medical care than the rest of the population! These figures are staggering, and not one of them will be fixed with a government run health care system. In fact, the likelihood is that a government run system will act as an enabler, perpetuating the problems. One of the biggest concerns is that if we do indeed have a government takeover of the medical insurance system, these problems will just become more deeply buried in bureaucracy and red tape.
The government needs to address ways to control cost, and should not be focusing on moving the system from one set of administrators (the private sector), to another (government run) without fixing the problems. The government's predominant position has been one of taking over the system and not one fixing problems. Whatever the government's reason for this, is also a big concern.
BestHealthcareRates.com advocates affordable individual medical insurance, family health insurance and group medical insurance for all. By eradicating fraudulent practices, rewarding healthy lifestyles choices and ending insurance company denials based on health history. The government's role should be to set the rules and conditions for private enterprise, not to compete with private enterprise.