Archive for the ‘Health Insurance’ Category
Choosing the right health insurance for you can be confusing and expensive, but choosing the right health insurance for your child is an entirely different story. The process of finding the most reliable plans at a good cost can be infuriating and cause you to have to cut other expenses from your budget. However, there are things you can do to avoid unneeded stress and successfully find the perfect plan for your child.
When choosing health insurance for your children, you must first consider how many children you have. There are different policies provided for the size of your family. Individual health policies will provide insurance for one child, while family health policies will insure multiple people. Make sure that when you’re choosing insurance you receive the appropriate policy.
Next you should research and understand the difference between HMO’s and PPO’s. Both policies have pros and cons in their own ways, so you must pick which one is more convenient for your children. HMO’s (Health Maintenance Organization Plans) provide inexpensive out of pocket prices for scheduled appointments with a doctor, and increased coverage for prescribed medications. However, they tend to have strict rules in which appointments with doctors not covered by your plan will not be insured. PPO’s (Preferred Provider Organization Plans) have more choices of service but can be pricey. You will receive discounts on a network of different hospitals and doctors, and you can also have coverage for care outside of this network, although more expensive.
You can find insurance coverage yourself through companies that will offer you quotes based on personal information you provide. If you have your own health insurance, the company you use may have health insurance they can offer your children. You can also receive health insurance packages for you, your spouse, and children through your place of employment, if available. There are also insurance company websites that will provide you with customer service via phone or e-mail, in which you can ask for advice and receive more in-depth information about coverage. There are lots of different companies and policies to choose from, but don’t let that fact overwhelm you. It just means that you have more options to choose the best plan for your children.
One of the main promises that Barack Obama made while running for president is that he would reform the health care system in the United States. He did just that when he helped to pass the new health care bill in 2010, which created widespread changes in the health care system. Some of these changes were lauded, while others were scorned, but there was no question that change had come.
Those who currently have no insurance will see a variety of options available to them as the bill goes into effect from 2010 through 2019. For a young person, age 18-26, they will see the option to be placed on their parent’s health insurance regardless of many circumstances. This will extend coverage to millions of college students and those young adults seeking work that offers medical benefits.
There will also be plans available for those who have a pre-existing condition. These people may have been turned away in the past due to their condition, but they will now be able to find coverage under the new bill. This will help to eliminate the fear that some uninsured individuals have about visiting a doctor. Some people will put off a visit to the doctor’s office because they fear that any conditions they may have will cause them to be denied when they do attempt to get health insurance.
A major part of the health care bill will be the affordable insurance exchanges. These exchanges will help people to find and compare private health insurance plans. They will also help people to find out if they are eligible for tax credits and health programs that make insurance more affordable to everyone. These exchanges will act as singular place where people can find out all they need about obtaining or getting the most from their health insurance.
Many people struggle with losing weight and keeping it off. When diet and exercise aren’t enough to get the job done, doctors may prescribed medication such as phentermine, to help their patients lose weight. While this medication often works well, it may not be covered by conventional health insurance plans.
Phentermine works by decreasing the appetite, making it easier to lose weight by eating less food. This drug also tricks the body into a feeling of fullness, which also makes it easier to avoid overeating. There have been some health risks associated with the use of phentermine. Many people have experienced adverse health effects such as dizziness, high blood pressure and difficulty sleeping while on this drug. Most doctors feel phentermine is safe when taken by a healthy person who is under the care of a physician. Doctors often require the patient to be morbidly obese before prescribing phentermine.
Those interested in taking phentermine for weight loss must obtain a prescription from their doctor. Many insurance plans do not cover weight loss drugs such as phentermine, stating they are primarily for cosmetic purposes. Some insurance plans will cover this medication if they receive a letter from the prescribing physician stating phentermine is a medical necessity due to conditions associated with being overweight such as high blood pressure or diabetes. While weight loss drugs are not a quick-fix, they can help overweight people lose more weight when combined with proper diet and daily exercise.
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, better known as COBRA, provides a stopgap measure to losing health insurance benefits. However, when COBRA ends and you aren’t employed yet, it may seem that you’re the only one without medical insurance.
Health insurance for unemployed does exist after COBRA benefits end. The options typically depend on you and / your family budget and health. For example, you have some money coming in from sources like unemployment compensation acquire short-term medical insurance. Generally, this type of insurance is cheap and provides similar benefits to regular insurance. The basic difference involves the length of time you’re covered. It may three, six, nine or even 12 months. Short-term medical insurance providers may allow you to renew short-term insurance once or twice, but not beyond that.
If you can afford catastrophic medical coverage with a high-deductible, then try to sign up with a provider. This type of insurance is affordable. However, in exchange for the low price you pay most of the bills until you meet the deductible which can range anywhere from $1,000 or higher.
Of course, unemployment can mean that you don’t have enough money to consider short-term or high-deductible insurance. Unfortunately, there’s another aspect that can prevent you from obtaining new insurance after employer sponsored insurance ends, pre-existing health problems.
Whether you have a pre-existing condition or can’t afford to buy medical insurance, you still have options. Apply for reduced-priced or free hospital care. Many hospitals have clinics who serve financially struggling citizens. At the clinics, you can receive general checks-ups, treatment for pre-existing conditions or other type of health care.
If you’re interested, start with the billing department of the particular hospital you’re interested in receiving care. The clinics usually have specific income guidelines so you may have to provide proof that you’re unemployed.
Regardless of your money situation, you’re not without medical insurance options. Different types of health insurance for unemployed people do exist. It may take a little investigation though.
An insurance agent may experience a rewarding career that revolves around helping others prepare for financial emergencies. If you have sales experience or the ability to explain the benefits of certain insurance products, you might find success as an insurance agent. Many clients consider their insurance agent as a trusted professional who compliments a core group of advisors, such as their attorney, tax preparer and financial planner. Insurance agents often engage in consultative roles to find a solution that meets a client’s needs.
Training is required before an agent can solicit insurance products to consumers or to business owners. Each state requires prospective insurance agents to complete an approved training program for the type of insurance that the agent will sell. For instance, many insurance agents begin their careers selling life insurance or health insurance. If you plan to sell life insurance, you must complete the required hours of study and successfully pass an examination. You may find companies that hire insurance trainees and provide in-house training or you can locate approved course providers in your area. Most states have options that provide tips online toward becoming an insurance agent. The insurance commissioner’s office for your state might reflect approved course providers on its website.
A license is required to become an insurance agent within the United States. The specific licensing requirements may vary according to the laws of each state. Generally, applicants will need to provide proof of training, exam results and complete a criminal background check to become an insurance agent. Your state may require errors and omissions insurance before issuing your license. Many states require e&o insurance for insurance agents to protect consumers against negligence or unlawful acts. If your actions cause a client to experience a financial loss, your state can file a claim against your e&o policy and provide compensation for the client.
Insurance agents are required to complete continuing education courses. The training frequency and the required hours of study will vary among states.
To Sum it Up
Insurance agents strive to become knowledgeable professionals who are resourceful and sensitive to the needs of their clients. You can become an insurance agent and build your customer base one client at a time.
Traveling overseas is usually a fun, safe activity that broadens your horizons in a way no other activity can. Unfortunately, unforeseen illnesses and accidents can strike even the most prepared travelers. To guard against this, on every trip you take overseas you should consider purchasing travel medical insurance.
Who Needs Travel Health Insurance
Your need for international travel insurance will depend on your insurance provider back home and where you are traveling to. First, you will need to check with your current health plan to see if you are covered overseas and what countries you are covered for. Some insurers will cover you, while others, like Medicare, won’t cover any overseas expenses. The country you are traveling to will matter as well, since many countries rated as high-risk by the U.S. State Department will not be covered under any healthcare plans.
Even if you’re young and healthy and you’re planning a visit to a country where health care costs are low, travel medical insurance is still an important part about planning your trip. A few cuts and bruises won’t set you back much, but in the event of a catastrophic accident or even death, the hospital and other costs can spiral out of control quickly. Even a bare-bones plan will benefit nearly every international traveler.
The Nuts and Bolts
Most travel health insurance is reimbursement only. This means that you will have to pay out of pocket for your expenses and then submit paperwork to the insurance company. However, this isn’t always true. Some companies will require you to contact them before seeking treatment; others will be more hands off. Make sure that you know all the benefit caps, deductibles, other benefits, and fine print associated with your insurance plan before you go overseas so you know what to expect if the worst should happen. Some of the well-known established providers of medical travel insurance coverage are Gateway Insurance, HTH Worldwide, and Travel Guard.
International travel insurance is an important part of planning any trip abroad. Just because you’re overseas doesn’t mean you should leave your family saddled with medical or burial costs. You wouldn’t do it at home, so don’t make the mistake of doing it abroad.
According to the Census Bereau, more than 50 million people were uninsured in the United States in 2010. That’s almost one in six U.S. residents. There are quite a few reasons why the number was so drastically high: the rising cost of medical care, workers being laid off, companies eliminating or limiting health insurance benefits, families choosing to drop coverage to save money. It’s commonly accepted to rely on employer for health care and other benefits, but let’s not forget that buying your own individual plan is also an option: more expensive but still better than no insurance at all. As companies shed jobs, laid off workers can rely on Cobra for continuous coverage but they are required to make reasonable contributions. Yet many choose not to.
Cutting costs in declining economy is a natural consumer behavior. It’s just that health insurance should not be at the top of the list, but rather at the bottom, or even better – take it off the list entirely. Many people of young age especially hope that their good health will “protect” them from the need to go to the doctor’s office for a few months if not years. Even with an occasional attack of seasonal cold or flu, they can go to the clinic and pay under $100 out-of-pocket for the visit – which is still a better deal than a monthly payment for the health insurance plan. Any thought of emergency is pushed to the back of the mind: we prefer to think that bad stuff happens to others but will spare us… at least for the duration of the uninsured period. People choose to keep their cable TV, which is ridiculously overpriced these days even with cable bundles, or continue to dine out twice a week, but drop health insurance coverage because there’s a need to save money. The phycology of it is somewhat understandable: we enjoy our cable TV every day so it’s something worth paying for, whereas months can go by without a slightest need to see the doctor. We’d rather pay for something we actually get rather than for something we might need but most likely won’t.
What people don’t like thinking about is what will happen in case of a serious illness or hospitalization. The cost of hospital stay can range somewhere between 3 to 5 thousand dollars a day depending on the services that a patient is receiving. If you require a serious surgery, the cost will be astronomic. You may spend years paying your medical bills or may even run into bankruptcy, just because the health emergency happened at the wrong time, when you lost your insurance coverage. So when re-evaluating your personal financial situation, think carefully where cutting costs is acceptable and where it can turn out to be disastrous for you.
Summer recess is about to end for many students. It’s time to get back to college planning, which means fresh worries about tuition, books, schedules as well as various expenses that students inevitably incur. For most it also means they need to renew or purchase a health insurance plan for the new school year. According to eHealthInsurance, a leading online provider of health insurance for families, there are five essential tips that incoming 2011-2012 students should remember about getting a health insurance policy:
- Get your health insurance before you get sick – not after. First of all, many colleges might reject your enrollment if you don’t carry a valid health insurance plan. If you apply after you already got sick, your coverage may be turned down due to a pre-existing condition.
- Staying on your parents’ plan may not be too effective if you are going to school in another state. Most health insurance plans provide the best coverage when you use in-network doctors and hospitals, which means they are in the same state where the insurance policy was issued. Using out-of-state health care providers can mean higher copayments and limited coverage and frequently results in increased out-of-pocket expenses.
- Study your school-sponsored plan carefully including the fine print. Plans vary from school to school and some of them cap the coverage on a per-year basis. In case of a serious illness, you might be responsible for a larger portion of your medical bills. Some school-sponsored plans require students to get medical care on campus – find out if yours is the case.
- Getting a non-school student plan can ensure more flexibility, especially if you expect to travel back and forth between two states. Another advantage of such plans is that you get an option to pay for the whole year up-front as opposed to making monthly payments.
- Older students (26 and up) often end up staying without health coverage due to the health care reform law that limits the age at which students can remain on their parents’ plan. Make sure you shop around for your individual policy before you turn 26.
Good news is on the way for many women who use oral contraceptives – it will soon be mandatory for health insurance plans to cover the full cost of the pills. The Institute of Medicine made a recommendation to change the status of the approved contraceptive methods into preventive services for women and remove the copay requirement. As a rule, preventive benefits such as annual checkup are covered by health plans 100% without patient cost-sharing.
The news is long welcomed by many women who have to pay $10, $25 and even $50 copayment on a monthly basis depending on the brand of the oral contraceptive they are using. Half of all pregnancies in the United States are non-planned: the high cost of prescriptions as well as copays can be partially to blame. Some women simply cannot afford to pay $25 every month so they stop taking the pill and choose alternative less-effective ways of contraception that frequently fail to prevent unintended pregnancies. Changing the status of contraception to preventive care will ensure no disruption in taking the pill as long as a woman is covered by a valid health insurance plan.
Needless to say if the new law is passed, not only it will mean the annual savings of a few hundred dollars for the women who benefit from it: the abortion rate should also go down along with the number of unplanned pregnancies.