Value Your Health-Buy Insurance

Many feel that health insurance is a waste of money. These people are often quite healthy and have no need to see their physician beyond yearly check-ups. However, health insurance is extremely important because it not only offers you protection from harmful illnesses or diseases and creates a better quality of life, but it can protect you from financial devastation in the case of an emergency.

One of the most crucial reasons to have health insurance is to cover the costs of medical bills – emergency or non-emergency. Without health insurance, you may be tempted to not see a doctor about medical issues you have, or you may assume that they are not serious. Both of these options are harmful and unwise as medical issues will often progress and become worse over time.

Insurance is often about ensuring you are covered in an emergency situation. For instance, you carry automobile insurance so that if you ever get into an accident, you will not be responsible financially. Health insurance works in much the same way, but it is also used to cover basic medical expenses and sometimes even preventative care depending upon your insurance provider. This can increase or improve your quality of life by allowing you to be proactive in your health care instead of simply reacting to medical issues that may arise.

Furthermore, the costs of medical procedures and consultations have increased with time. Even a routine outpatient procedure, like the removal of gall bladder stones, can be a costly medical expense. Even a short visit to a specialist for diagnosis can be extremely expensive. Emergency medical issues or the development of possibly fatal or debilitating illnesses are one reason to have health insurance. The expenses to treat these medical issues can cost hundreds of thousands dollars and pull you into a financially disastrous situation. With late fees and minimum payments, you may never be able to pay off your medical bills, and hospitals and doctors will often send collection agencies after you. This is not only inconvenient, but can also can ruin your credit and make it impossible to rent an apartment or buy a car.

As you can see, health insurance is very important. It will not only improve your quality of life and ensure that you are in top-notch health, but it can save you money in the long-run. When you consider what in your life is most important, your health has to be on the top of the list. If you protect your possessions or your home with insurance because of their value, then you should insure your health as well. After all, isn’t your health valuable too?

Avoiding Insurance Fraud

Everyone knows that the health insurance industry is continually raising monthly premiums, and many feel this is unjust to you as the consumer. However, the health insurance industry has had to fight increasing health insurance fraud. The amount of money spent on investigating and prosecuting fraud is then passed on to policyholders. Many people do not understand what health insurance fraud entails, though. With reports estimating health insurance fraud is a $30 billion to over $100 billion industry per year, the topic should not be taken lightly. Every health insurance policyholder should understand what health insurance fraud is and its consequences. By doing so, you are more able to recognize and fight fraud.

Health insurance fraud is typically defined as intentionally deceiving, misrepresenting, or concealing information to receive benefits from the insurance company. Essentially this means that you assert that you paid for certain medical procedures or expenses out-of-pocket which you have not actually received, and you are submitting claims to the insurance company to receive reimbursement. Another example of member fraud is to conceal pre-existing conditions or to alter medical documents so that non-policyholders or ineligible members receive medical benefits under your policy. Perhaps your sister does not have insurance and needs medical attention. Having her use your name and policy to cover the expenses is health insurance fraud. While you may think that this is a small issue in comparison to your sister receiving treatment, it is actually very serious to your health insurance company and industry, and will result in fines and possible imprisonment if your are caught.

Not only policyholders commit fraud, but providers (physicians, hospitals, etc.) do as well. Since physicians and hospitals bill the insurance company for services they provide for you, they are also receiving reimbursement from the insurance company. When providers commit fraud, they may be billing the insurance company at higher rates for services rendered or they may bill for services you never received. In these cases, you will probably be asked to cooperate in the insurance company’s investigation.

Another type of health insurance fraud that has developed recently targets the policyholder more than the insurance company. Schemes have developed where fake insurance companies or agents sign unsuspecting customers for coverage at surprisingly low premium rates. They often act much like a regular insurance company for the first few months, paying for smaller medical claims like physicians visits. But once you have a more serious medical condition that needs treatment, the insurance company will disappear – along with the money you have been paying in premiums.

The rule with health insurance fraud is much like that of any other scam: if a deal seems too good to be true, just remember – it probably is. Remember to be honest in your dealings with health insurance companies and expect the same in the return from these companies, as well as your health care providers. Stay legal to avoid fines and prison and to continue receiving health insurance coverage.

Traveling Alternative Roads

Health insurance can be expensive if you are not lucky enough to have it provided by your employer. Even shopping around for the best quotes may not be within your budget. Luckily there are alternatives to health insurance that you can take advantage of so that you and your family will be safe even if an emergency situation comes up. You can apply for the prescription discount card program, which is a low monthly cost and works at most of the of corporation drug stores that we all use. There are also programs that give you health care but are not considered “health insurance”.

The prescription discount card is great for anyone who has regular prescriptions that need to be filled over a long period of time. The cost of prescriptions without insurance is high and always rising. If you cannot afford health insurance, there is no way that buying these full priced prescriptions will come without difficulty. You can enroll in a discount card program on the Internet or you can call around to try and find one locally. The reported savings for each person is estimated to be at least 50%, and some programs will enroll you for under $5 a month.

Health care programs are another popular alternative to expensive health insurance. BeniCard, for example, is a highly acclaimed health care program, and for a small monthly fee, you can have your immediate family covered. You will not be turned down because there is no limit to who is eligible, even if you have a pre-existing condition. It is not health insurance, but you will be able to save money on doctor visits, vision and hearing care, dental services, and prescription drugs. This is just one of the programs that can help you if you cannot get health insurance due to expense or because you have been turned down due to an illness.

No one should go without health care of some sort. Prescriptions are extremely costly without insurance, and if you or someone in your family has an emergency health situation, you could be left with a large debt for years. Insurance companies are hesitant to accept anyone with a pre-existing illness because it will definitely cost them plenty of money. For anyone who has been turned down for health insurance or simply cannot afford to pay a deductible, health care programs and prescription discounts are a low-cost alternative that could save you money.

Insurance When You are Getting Married

Health insurance providers are not created equal. Before a couple is married, the option of sharing coverage is extremely unusual unless one of your insurers offers domestic partner insurance. As you become engaged, if you both have separate insurance it is important to talk about the both of you switching to the better plan once you are married. There are a few factors consider, which include deductibles, co-payments, and the benefits of each separate plan. Marriage is a big step, and it can be done with ease if the two of you settle important decisions such as your health insurance plan before you take the big leap.

Your deductible is the amount you must pay each year to start your policy. Once this payment is made you will be responsible for whatever amount of co-payment your insurance company requires for you to pay for the health expenses that are covered in your particular policy. The amount of co-payments that you will be responsible for is established at the time you agree to your health insurance policy. It is going to be a certain percentage of health expenses; for instance, you pay 10% while your insurer will be paying the other 90%. You and your fiancé should compare both of your plans and figure out which deductible and co-payment plan seems most appropriate for the two of you.

Married couples are usually eligible for certain benefits that unmarried couples are not. Being insured separately by the health care provider sponsored by your employers may no longer be the most beneficial option for you. If you or your fiancé has insurance, and the other does not, once the two of you are married they can be added to the other partner’s plan. Cost of adding an additional person is definitely something that should be examined. You should not be required to pay more for adding a spouse or even a child in the future because most plans are offered to immediate family at no extra cost. The best way to compare policies is to estimate a yearly amount of normal health expenses, emergencies, co-payments, and deductibles. Whichever plan has the lowest cost to you will almost always be the best choice.

In addition to sharing health insurance with your new spouse, you may also want to consider switching the rest of your insurance plans, such as the policies you have for your separate automobiles. This is because most companies will give you a discount on having more than one vehicle insured. You may also be interested in finding a company that can insure you home, automobile, and health in one place. If you carry more than one policy with a company, they will also usually give you some sort of discount on them. It is important to sit down and discuss insurance with your fiancé because the two of you could be saving money and stress by figuring out what decision is best before the time comes.

Health Insurance and Retirement

Health insurance for retirees or senior citizens can be confusing, especially with so many options and requirements. However, health insurance is crucial for retirees. As you grow older, your health obviously becomes more of an issue; you may visit the doctor more, need to fill more prescriptions, or even receive in-home care. Before you retire, prepare for health insurance to ensure that you receive the best benefits.

The first step in planning your health insurance coverage in your retirement is to see if your employer offers insurance coverage after you retire. If the company does, you should certainly consider it. Look at the plan, the deductible, and the coverage. Many near-retirees believe that Medicare will cover their medical payments, but this is not always the case. With this sort of coverage, you will most likely receive better health care but at a more expensive cost. As a retiree, you will certainly have a health insurance budget to maintain, and you will have to decide if the cost of your employer’s insurance is too expensive.

If your employer does not offer coverage, Medicare will be an important and integral part of your health insurance if you are 65 years of age or older. Medicare works like traditional health insurance plans in that you have been contributing a small portion of every paycheck you earn into this plan. Once Medicare begins, you will make co-payments for office visits or treatment. Medicare will also cover the expense of certain medical equipment or needs.

However, Medicare did not cover a number of items that are typical of health insurance. The government recently updated Medicare and divided it into three parts: Part A, B, and C. Part A covers hospital care, such as home health care, hospital stays, and hospice care. This part does not require a premium. Part B covers the more routine medical expenses, such as office visits and laboratory tests, while Part C enrolls you into a fee-for-service or managed care plan that reduces your out-of-pocket costs. Despite these different options, Medicare restricts your coverage by not covering certain kinds of care or illnesses and diseases. Thus, there is also Medigap coverage, which helps fill in the gaps in health insurance that Medicare leaves. Medigap coverage differs from state to state and has different payments.

Beyond Medicare and Medigap, there are also long-term care insurance plans that you can buy. You often see these plans advertised on the television at very low prices. These plans can help cover the costs of a nursing home or home health care. With so many different options and limitations, if you are retiring soon, you should take a look at your budget and what you can afford as well as what sort of coverage you feel you will need.

Healthcare for Long-term Patients

Long-term care insurance is not right for everyone. For a small percentage of the population this coverage is an affordable and worthwhile type of insurance. Determining whether or not long-term care insurance is right for you won’t be the only task at hand; looking for scams will also be a concern.

As you get older, the need for assistance in your everyday life increases. Whether it is in-home care or residing in a nursing home for a few months you will most likely need some way to pay for these types of services. In order to maintain long-term care insurance you must pay for them each and every year until death. Many policies are canceled by policyholders that are on fixed incomes and are simply unable to pay for the increasing premiums as they get older. If the only funds you are receiving were those from Social Security or SSI, then it would be wise to not purchase a policy. Also, if you find that every day purchases and paying for utilities makes you stretch your budget to the limit, you probably should stay clear of this policy. This type of policy is only right for someone who has significant assets they want to preserve for their family, remain independent, or just to spare their family the expense of a nursing home bill.

Comparing policies can prove to be difficult because every company is selling a different combination of benefits and coverage. Many companies offer to pay a fixed amount for each day you receive care, while others will cover a percentage of the overall cost of care or supply a specified amount. Beware of these types of policies unless they offer inflation protection. You see, if they do not account for the increasing cost of nursing home costs, then you are stuck with a policy that really does you no good.

Just like a standard healthcare plan, you will have to receive services at designated locations. If you go outside of this network they will simply refuse to pay for any care that you receive. If you have any type of mental disease or nervous disorder then don’t expect many carriers to accept you (the one exception is Alzheimer’s). There are more restrictions in this type of insurance than any other health insurance.

If this type of policy is right for you, please make sure that the company is reputable. There are many individuals who thrive on the fact that not many people will make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing long-term health insurance. Be sure to read the fine print and find out everything you can about the policy before committing to a company and a long-term health insurance plan.