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Defining Terms In Your Health Insurance Policy.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Protecting your financial security in times of crisis is the purpose of insurance. Health insurance, particularly, is an incredibly important investment because, while you cannot predict medical catastrophes, you can prevent draining your bank account by purchasing a health insurance policy that fits your needs.
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Need a little help defining some of those words in your health policy? Look no further for assistance.

Accidental Death Insurance - This type of insurance is paid if the death of the policyholder results from an accident.

Acute care - Expert attention that is required to restore a person to good health.

Aftercare - Specialized patient services that are necessary following hospitalization or rehabilitation.

Ambulatory care - This type of outpatient treatment does not require hospitalization.

Ancillary - supplementary services (beyond room and board fees)

Benefit package - a detailed description of the policyholder's coverage under the terms of the health insurance contract

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA) - This law gives employees of companies with more then 20 employees the guarantee of group medical coverage at the company's expense for a period of time.

Continuation - Allows employees that have been terminated to continue their group health insurance coverage under certain conditions.

Covered Expenses - Medical costs incurred when the policy holder qualifies for reimbursement

Newspaper policy - type of limited health insurance sold by newspapers to maintain or add to circulation

Provider - individual or group of individuals that provide health care service

Understanding these definitions will put you a few steps closer to deciphering your health insurance policy. If there are specific questions you have regarding your health coverage, always contact your insurance provider. They will be more than happy to discuss any questions you may have. Health insurance is a financial issue you cannot neglect.

While you cannot predict medical emergencies, you can prevent financial misfortune in the event of medical emergencies by purchasing health insurance and understanding your benefits and limits.
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Health Insurance For Students - You Must Budget For It .

Friday, March 14, 2008

All of us remember our college years with fondness. College life is one of the best periods of ones life and a reminder of those times can bring a smile back to everyone's face. It is stressful because of long assignments and periodic exams but is also fun at the same time.
To make the best of this period, one needs to strike a balance between the times that one spends on studies and the time spent on leisure activities. One of the most important aspects of student life is managing one's expenses. Since the inflow of money is limited, one needs to have a smart financial planning.
[ health , insurance , online ]

It is not surprising to find out that most of the students do not understand the importance of college health insurance. The cost of healthcare is increasing by the day and hence it is crucial for a college student to be prepared for any such unforeseen circumstance.

Most of the students are very active in extracurricular activities like sports that render them prone to injuries, including serious ones at times. Also, life is unpredictable and one cannot predict when a medical emergency may strike. This is where college health insurance comes in handy and can offer safety against the high cost of medical treatment at a very low cost.

The first step to owning a college health insurance is to check your college website. If you happen to be a full time student, it is possible that you are already covered under the college health insurance. This is one fact that not many students are aware of.

Generally, the premiums for college health insurance are deducted every quarter along with the tuition fees. Since the amount is nominal, it is possible that you are not aware that you are already covered under college health insurance that even includes that dental plan!

However, if you happen to find that you do not have a college health insurance, you can contact the college authorities to help you get covered under the current insurance scheme. The other alternative is to buy you a separate insurance cover from any of the service providers.

It is advisable that one should check out the policy details and compare the premiums from various health insurance providers before enrolling for one. It is possible that you can land yourself a good deal. However, generally getting an insurance cover independently turns out to be more expensive than group insurance that is provided through the college.
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Health Savings Accounts: An Alternative to Traditional Health Insurance?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Health Savings Account offers people a second choice when it comes to signing up for health insurance. It’s not a replacement for health insurance, but instead, combines aspects of personal savings with the complete coverage offered by a health insurance plan.
If you’ve been following the news lately, you’ve probably heard about the contentious issue of Health Savings Accounts, introduced by the Bush administration in 2003 through the Medicare Modernization Act. At that time the concept generated little buzz – only recently has the debate heated up between critics and supporters of the initiative.
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A Health Savings Account offers people a second choice when it comes to signing up for health insurance. It’s not a replacement for health insurance, but instead, combines aspects of personal savings with the complete coverage offered by a health insurance plan. Many defenders of HSAs believe it offers the best of both worlds so that patients can have more control over their own healthcare needs and save money in the process.

But what exactly does a Health Savings Account entail? Basically, a Health Savings Account is a savings account (set aside for the purpose of paying future medical costs) in conjunction with a high-deductible health insurance policy. If your employer or insurance company offers HSAs, you are given the option to deposit money into the savings account, up to a set amount. The deposit remains tax-free, even when you withdraw, and gains interest over time – just like a traditional savings account. The difference, of course, is that the money must be used to cover medical expenses you incur up to the deductible amount. So if you need to buy prescription eyeglasses, visit the doctor, or take an eye exam, you would withdraw funds from the HSA in order to pay those bills. HSAs can be used to pay for a wide range of healthcare expenses, not traditionally covered by health insurance.

The good news is that once you reach the deductible amount, your insurance coverage kicks in and you can use that to pay any additional medical bills you are responsible for during the rest of the year. Another positive aspect of a Health Savings Account is the fact that with a high-deductible insurance plan comes low monthly premiums. If you have little to no healthcare costs during the year, you will save a lot of money on premiums alone. At the same time, your savings account will gain interest and roll over to the next year. After several years, even if you need to make withdrawals to pay for certain medical expenses, you should have a significant amount of money set aside for a rainy day.

In addition, once you turn 65, you can withdraw any leftover funds to use for your retirement – and the balance remains tax-free. You can use the money for medical expenses, of course, or for any other expenses you have during your retirement years.

Opponents of HSAs argue that only the healthy and wealthy can afford to take advantage of the opportunities Health Savings Accounts offer to the public, while proponents of the plan believe this type of health insurance has the potential to give the average person more power to make informed healthcare choices. Only time will tell whether or not Health Savings Accounts have the potential to revolutionize healthcare in America.
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Individual Health Insurance in Texas - How to Get the Best Rate.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Is it possible to find a good rate on individual health insurance in Texas? Yes, if you're willing to spend a little time shopping rates. Here's how to get the best rate on individual health insurance in Texas.
The Bad News

Millions of Americans don’t have health insurance, including 5.4 million Texans, or about 25% of the state’s population. Texas leads the nation in the number of people under age 65 who do not have health insurance.
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Your Options

Part of the reason so many Texans lack health insurance is that Texas has many small businesses that are not required to offer this benefit. Consequently, only 48% of Texans receive health insurance through their employer.

Government assistance is available for low-income families, including a Children's Health Insurance Program for children whose families earn too much for Medicaid but who still can’t afford private health insurance.

Another option is to purchase an individual health insurance policy. Such a policy will cost more than government sponsored health insurance, so you want to make sure you get the best rate possible.

To keep your rate down ...

* Look into an HMO (health maintenance organization) or PPO (preferred provider organization). These plans limit your choices when it comes to selecting a doctor, but they lower your costs substantially.

* Choose a policy with a high deductible or co-payments.

* Choose a policy that offers only the coverage you need. If you're in good health, you can choose a policy that offers just major medical coverage (hospital and surgical coverage only), rather than comprehensive coverage which covers doctor visits, and prescription drug costs.

Shop Around for the Best Rate

You can save on your policy by shopping rates at an insurance comparison website. You complete one simple questionnaire with information about yourself and your insurance needs. Then you'll receive quotes from multiple A-rated companies that you can compare.
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Ways To Save When Buying Life Insurance.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mostly shoppers have to confident or the idea on how to get most of their money, either they shop for food, groceries or even for luxury including life insurance aswell. On this site, we stated some list of ways to help you save most of money from the market on buying life insurance policy.

1. If your interested in short term insurance and your not really into the term for long-run, term life insurance is best suited for you, this is an insurance practically offers most coverage for the least amount of your money, and this insurance is based on the set up of time. You can set up for plan that is sets to pay after 5 years or even 10 to 20 years

Again your interested on saving money and you wont mind paying for a high premium, then the Whole Life Insurance policy is best suited for you. This policy offers a cash value, you can withdraw fund from the cash value thus you death benefit will minus. Taking out loan which exceeds the amount you have paid on the premium, you will receive a tax bill and your cash value will minus aswell
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2. On looking for a lower premium for variable life insurance make sure to keep an eye to no-load or low-load policy, this policy have few additional fees, they have agent commission or fees for marketing which makes high percentage to your premium. Check a financial advisor who wont collect commission from life insurance company, ask around and sell these directly to customers

3. stay away from guaranteed issue policy if your physically health, these policies are so called “quick simplified” policy, they may sound quite good, and they wont even require for a medical exam but technically this one makes greater risk for the insurer, so it is preferable if you get life insurance policy which requires medical exam if your healthy.

Disadvantage from this guaranteed issue policy is that many ended up paying more premiums than their beneficiaries from their death benefits. The NAIC is looking for a solution to put an end to this

4. Browsing online when shopping is a great way to compare prices from other agencies and companies and check each of what theyr trying to offer. The more information, the more accurate your quote will be

5. finding for a life insurance which is affordable when you’re a smoke, heave heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes are quite difficult, because as the rules had stated, the more better your health is, the more easier for you to find affordable life insurance.

Insurance company tends to issue low premiums if their holders is in good condition, the less risk of having you dying sooner, the affordable your insurance policy might take. Try also documenting your health if ever you plan to show a good medical condition, and show them to your insurance company stating “you’re trying to improve your health”.

insurance have got different kind of issuing medical conditions when it comes to policy, they have different medical test exam you may get as you go through before they will issue you a policy. This might be a major impact if you’re a smoker because if you’re a smoker who wants to quite smoking now, its still might take 3-5 years in order for you to have a Nicotine free in your body.

So by quitting, your not just saving money, but your also getting a better standing. Being overweight is another reason you may get a higher life insurance premium. Even thou you may not be obsess, once your weight reches a level, your risk of death is high. So getting a step of loosing weight your not only helping yourself to live long, your also getting more affordable life insurance.

6. When you’re in the market for insurance, make sure to check what your exact needs and you should go from there, one good way of doing that is short term needs plus long term minus resources equals how much life insurance is needed

7. Rider policy is like an expansion or additional insurance policy for your coverage. When your needs changes this one is more cost effective to get a rider policy for additional insurance, thou it doesn’t affect your cash value so make sure to shop around.

8. As you age, the price of your life insurance will increase, buy early instead of waiting there till the real problem strikes ahead. So the earlier you will start, the more you can save. Keep your premium low and keep your premium rates the same for the set of time.

9. If there is something wrong or error on you credit report, you may be denied for an insurance policy, when you credit score is low, the company’s main concern is that your policy lapse due to non- payment or premiums.

10. Some insurance agency charges low rates depending on how you manage your schedule on paying, by fractional payments, those fewer payment over the year may pay less overall. It has the same get on EFT electrical fun transfer, which takes out the amount of the premium straight from your checking account.

11. In order for you to have a lower rate from your insurance company, you need to make a part of establishing a history which regards to lowering your cholesterol. In this matter, the insurance company might give you a chance for it

Interested in finding more about life insurance or having alife insurance quote? Visit this site where you can evaluate rates from best in class insurance providers, well help you find a suitable insurance coverage for you which is more suitable for your budget.
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Health Insurance Explained.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Although health insurance isn't the most appealing of subjects when you consider the cost of health care everywhere just keeps rising, it makes sense to make provision for the situation where paying a health professional to get the best care is unavoidable. Health insurance premiums are also becoming more expensive in line with the every increasing cost of health care which is now considerably above inflation levels.

Often, larger companies are able to offer private health insurance plans as part of the employment package where they pay all or a large amount of the premium, however the rising cost of health insurance is also affecting employers with many finding it difficult to maintain this company benefit. For many workers , the health insurance benefits a company offers is what attracts them to the job and not the pay packet. Those are the lucky workers as not every employer can afford to offer company provided health care so the only alternative is to try and locate inexpensive health insurance elsewhere.
[ health , insurance , online ]

While many people today are still able to obtain some type of health insurance through their place of employment or privately, many others, the low paid, self-employed and the unemployed simply don't know where to find good quality coverage at a fair price. Whilst a little research is required to make sensible comparisons, carrying out searches for low cost health insurance schemes on the internet has proved very helpful for many as you are able to compare benefits of a large number of providers using online comparison tables. Choosing the right health insurance is something that cannot be rushed if you have a family.

The good news is that people are learning that they have to be more selective and look carefully at every aspect of their potential health insurance plans to obtain the best possible premiums. Many national and local organizations of self-employed workers are now banding together to form cooperatives and combine their buying power to get affordable health insurance premiums through group policies. Before you decide on purchasing health insurance through another method and you are a member of a national or local organization, check with them first to see if they have made health insurance arrangements for their members as it will save you money.

You would be wise though to check the health insurance policy terms and conditions to make sure you fully understand what is covered and especially, what is not. For example, a health insurance company may define an emergency as anything that is life threatening condition that cannot be reasonably treated by a primary care physician. It may sound like a great deal to check on but your health insurance and the provider you decide to use are very important matters which should be looked at carefully. There is little disagreement that the growing number of people without health insurance is going to cause problems in the future. Worth considering is the statistic that shows that the fatality rate a person who does not have health insurance is twenty five percent higher than that of a person who has a health care plan.
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How to Avoid Swimming With The Health Insurance Sharks - The Health Insurance Pyramid Revealed!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Health Insurance Salesman can sometimes make it seem like swimming with the sharks is a picnic! You get bombarded with messages on the tv and internet telling you that their particular insurance company is in fact the secret to all your health insurance prayers. In this article I help you to swim through those shark infested waters and reach the other side with your health and wallet intact.
[ health , insurance , online ]

Health Insurance Salesman can sometimes make it seem like swimming with the sharks is a picnic! You get bombarded with messages on the tv and internet telling you that their particular health insurance company is in fact the secret to all your prayers, and that if you go with them you could be hit by 76 different diseases simultaneously and still be covered. Hey. It's possible that cover exists. I am an optimist after all ;) But in reality searching for affordable family, individual or group health insurance can be a long drawn out affair. And the three steps of finding, understanding and finally buying your health insurance can be a real challenge. Fortunately, I am here to help. The first step in the health insurance success pyramid is to find the health insurance that you need. A good place to start with this is to get online and start searching on google for all those health insurance terms you hear bandied about in TV ads - eg health insurance, health plans, health insurance companies, medical insurance etc. Then, get out an old fashioned pen and paper, and start making a list of companies that you like the look of (ie that look professional, have been recommended by friends etc). Their telephone numbers, and a list of the different selling points and benefits that they particularly emphasise.
Once you have done that, then pick up the phone and start calling around to the various companies that you have listed. Once you are through to these experts (at least on their own products) then start asking questions. This is now entering the 'understanding' phase. You cannot realistically buy anything until you understand what you are buying. And this is as true with health and medical insurance as with anything else. So, take the opportunity when you phone up to ask about terms and conditions, monthly payments, how it would work if you actually became ill, what all the different terminology means, what is covered and what isn't covered, and also what differentiates their company from the dozens of other companies who are also offering health insurance. Ask the companies representatives flat out. 'Why should I sign up with you rather then.....? (Fill in the blank from your research). And assess their reply. Once you have done that, then you are now in a good position. You have found out the different companies that sell health insurance in your location. You have phoned up the companies to research their offerings. So you know what works, and what doesn't work for you. Lastly, you now just need to buy it! This is where the internet again comes into its own. You can visit any of dozens of websites that will compare rates amongst the different companies. You now know what they are offering, so simply pick the one that offers the best combination of features to price. Swimming with the health insurance sharks can be a tricky business, but if you approach it logically as I have outlined, then you will have a much better chance of arriving safely on the beach with your health intact.
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Paying for Health Care-Health.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The cost of health care in the United States is expensive and is escalating. A majority of Americans cannot afford the cost of medicines, physicians' fees, or hospitalization without some form of health insurance. Health insurance is a contract between an insurance company and an individual or group for the payment of medical care costs. After the individual or group pays a premium to an insurance company, the insurance company pays for part or all of the medical costs depending on the type of insurance and benefits provided. The type of insurance policy purchased greatly influences where you go for health care, who provides the health care, and what medical procedures can be performed. The three basic health insurance plans include a private, fee-for-service plan; a prepaid group plan; and a government-financed public plan.
Private Fee-For-Service Insurance Plan
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Until recently, private, fee-for-service insurance was the principal form of health insurance coverage. In this plan an individual pays a monthly premium, usually through an employer, which ensures health care on a fee-far-service basis. On incurring medical costs, the patient files a claim to have a portion of these costs paid by the insurance company. There is usually a deductible, an amount paid by the patient before being eligible for benefits from the insurance company. For example, if your expenses are $1000, you may have to pay $200 before the insurance company will pay the other $800. Usually the lower the deductible, the higher the premiums will be. After the deductible is met the insurance provider pays a percentage of the remaining balance.

Typically there are fixed indemnity benefits, specified amounts that are paid for particular procedures. If your policy pays $500 for a tonsilectomy and the actual cost was $1000, you owe the health care provider $500. There are often exclusions, certain services that are not covered by the policy. Common examples include elective surgery, dental care, vision care, and coverage for preexisting illnesses and injuries. Some insurance plans provide options for adding dental and vision care. Other common options include life insurance, which pays a death benefit, and disability insurance, which pays for income lost because of the inability to work as a result of an illness or injury. The more options added to the insurance plan, the more expensive the insurance will be.

One strategy insurance companies are using to lower insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs to the consumer is the formation of preferred providers organization (PPO). A PPO is a group of private practitioners who sell their services at reduced rates to insurance companies. When a patient chooses a provider that is in that company's PPO, the insurance company pays a higher percentage of the fee. When a non-PPO provider is used, a much lower portion of the fee is paid.

A major advantage of a fee-for-service plan is that the patient has options in selecting health-care providers. Several disadvantages are that patients may not routinely receive comprehensive, preventive health care; health-care costs to the patient may be high if unexpected illnesses or injuries occur; and it may place heavy demands on time in keeping track of medical records, invoices, and insurance reimbursement forms.
Prepaid Group Insurance

In prepaid group insurance, health care is provided by a group of physicians organized into a health maintenance organization (HMO). HMOs are managed health-care plans that provide a full range of medical services for a prepaid amount of money. For a fixed monthly fee, usually paid through pay roll deductions by an employer, and often a small deductible, enrollees receive care from physicians, specialists, allied health professionals, and educators who are hired or contractually retained by the HMO. HMOs provide an advantage in that they provide comprehensive care including preventive care at a lower cost than private insurance over a long period of coverage. One drawback is that patients are limited in their choice of providers to those who belong to an HMO.
Government Insurance

In a government insurance plan the government at the federal, state, or local level pays for the health-care costs of elgible participants. Two prominent examples of this plan are Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is financed by social security taxes and is designed to provide health care for individuals 65 years of age and older, the blind, the severely disabled, and those requiring certain treatments such as kidney dialysis. Medicaid is subsidized by federal and state taxes. It provides limited health care, generally for individuals who are eligible for benefits and assistance from two programs: Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Supplementary Security Income.
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Thursday, March 6, 2008


Individual insurance means that insurance, which is not connected to a business or the self, employed. However you can still purchase an individual insurance that covers the whole family.

Different kinds of individual health insurance policies are available. They are Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Dental Insurance, Short-Term Insurance, Medicare Supplements and Part D Rx, Long-Term Care Insurance, Critical Illness Insurance, Accident Only Insurance, Travel Health Insurance, Disability Insurance, Health Insurance for Non-US Citizens, Retirement Plans, IRA's, Vision Insurance and Annuities
[ health , insurance , online ]

On approaching an insurer there is no guarantee that he will take you on. Individual insurance plans are underwritten and the insurer may reject the application or attach some exclusion to the policy if you have health problems. However some states make it compulsory for the insurer to provide a policy no matter what health problems you have. This is called a "guaranteed issue." Those enrolled for individual plans may usually pay a higher premium in line with their expected health costs, so the premiums are higher for those who are older or less healthy. To know more about your rights contact the health department.

Finding the right policy with an affordable price tag is quite a daunting task. The rules for individual health insurance also vary from state to state, making it difficult to have a comparative study. If you go without insurance for more than 63 days you will loose your pre existing conditions. This interval has been set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and followed by all the states.

Though the search is confusing you need to take one step at a time. The first step is to evaluate your needs and understand your health insurance options. It is imperative to compare multiple companies when you shop. An alternative is to approach an independent agent well versed in individual health policies that can help you sort through your options, compare individual health insurance quotes and find the policy that is right for you and your family.

In finding the right bargain do not settle for questionable coverage just to get a "cheap" rate. Consider your budget, physician preferences, and health requirements in deciding which type of plan is best for you. If you discover that if you have certain health problems, it can be nearly impossible to get any coverage at all. Based on the statistics for a given ailment in that state, premiums are likely to be higher in some states than in others. With certain ailments, such as a stent or bypass, no one will offer insurance at any price. If you are with a group and have had any kind of heart problem, kidney problem, cancer, or diabetes, you need to research your options very carefully before leaving the group.

Unlike group coverage, if you develop certain illnesses after taking private insurance, the company can increase your premiums or even terminate coverage altogether instead of renewing it. There many insurance options, you should consider getting cancer insurance if there has been cancer in your family. The cancer insurance will protect your family against loss due to cancer treatment. If you have a dangerous job that exposes you to the risk of injuries, you must have an accident insurance. It provides you with a large cash payment, in case of loss of limbs, sight or more. Hospital indemnity plans pay for the hospitalization in addition to your insurance. These are usually very inexpensive and can go a long way in helping you meet a high deductible.
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How Are the Costs Of Your Health Insurance Plan Made Up?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

If you are not familiar with health insurance then the costs involved in a health insurance plan can seem to be somewhat complex and many people are surprised that, having paid what seems like a small fortune, they find themselves faced with a bill the first time that they submit a claim. Before you are landed with a large medical bill therefore, it is a good idea to take a minute to learn just what sort of costs you can expect to incur on your health insurance policy.

The first and probably most obvious cost is the monthly premium or, if you so choose, the quarterly or annual premium. If you belong to an employer's or union group plan then you will generally be required to pay only a percentage of the premium and this will normally be taken directly from your pay check.
[ health , insurance , online ]

The majority of health insurance plans will also include an annual deductible which is a sum of money that you will have to pay before your insurer starts to pay out on any claims. So, with a yearly deductible of $1,000 you will have to meet the first $1,000 of any medical bills every year before your insurer will start paying out. You may be familiar with the principle of paying a deductible from your experience with motor insurance policies and, if this is the case, will know that the higher the deductible on your policy the lower your premiums will be. In addition, if you have a family health insurance plan then this will typically include deductibles for each family member covered by the plan.

Some health insurance plans will also include a co-payment which is a fixed amount of money that you will be required to pay towards every medical bill. Exactly how much you will be required to pay in co-payments will depend very much on the type of plan you have. For instance, co-payments on HMO plans are generally lower than those on indemnity plans. In addition, the co-payment will also vary between different forms of medical service and, if you are enrolled in an HMO plan, will generally be higher if you are treated outside of the HMO network.

In cases where a co-payment is not required you will normally find that this is replaced by co-insurance which is similar and is a sum of money, this time expressed as a percentage, that you will again need to pay towards every medical bill. A common co-insurance ratio is 80/20 meaning that your insurer will meet 80% of any medical bill while you pay 20%. As in the case of co-payments, co-insurance will normally rise if, as an HMO plan holder, you are treated outside of the HMO's network. In this case you will also find that, whenever a claim exceeds what the insurance company considers to be 'reasonable and customary', you may be required to pay the additional cost.

By now you will see that comparing different health insurance plans is about a great deal more than just comparing premiums. As a consequence, it is extremely important for you to read the details of any health insurance quote very carefully and avoid the common temptation to simply select the plan with the smallest monthly premium.

If you want to keep costs low and are a member of an HMO plan then you should attempt to stick inside the HMO's network and, if you do feel that it is necessary to go outside the HMO's network, then compare actual treatment costs to what your insurer considers 'reasonable and customary' before you undergo treatment.

You can also keep your costs under control on many plans by adjusting the deductible and by selecting higher or lower co-insurance. Just how this can be done is beyond the scope of this particular article but is a matter of balancing the different costs against the probability of needing to claim against the policy.
[ health , insurance , online ]

Health Insurance – know your facts.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Approximately seven million of us have health insurance in the UK, for the most part it's provided by employers as a benefit. Consequently, most people take health insurance for granted and don't really look at the policy documents. That means that they don't really know what's covered, and what's not. If you think that health insurance will cover all your health costs, you're unfortunately wrong.

Health insurance is very particular in its purpose – and is fine for curable, short-term health problems, and for allowing policyholders to bypass the NHS queues and get straight through to the consultants to receive quality care in a much faster time. However, there are many other treatments and situations which do not fall within the scope of the policy.
[ health , insurance , online ]

Before you read on, we should advise you that every policy is different and you really need to read your own documents to get the full picture. However, this article will give you some very good pointers on what to look out for.

Chronic conditions

If you fall ill and it turns out that the illness can be cured in the short-term, it's called ‘acute' and you're covered. If, however, your problem is incurable or, even with treatment, it will last for a long time, then it will be classed as ‘chronic' and your policy will not cover you.

It's the line between ‘acute' and ‘chronic' that causes conflict between insurer and policyholders. Diabetes and asthma for example are chronic – they are not curable and they stay with you for the rest of your life. Some types of cancer cannot be so easily classified. The doctors may decide that the cancer is curable, but then the illness could worsen and the diagnosis could be changed to incurable. This means that while the illness is considered curable, then you can make the most of your cover, but if the diagnosis changes to incurable, your cover will be lost. Insurance companies reserve the right to reclassify an illness from acute to chronic during treatment.

Long-term treatment
Long-term treatment is a definite no-no. But check your policy documents first to see their definition of “long-term”. It may be that the insurer will pay for 10 months, so if it's a 12 month treatment, you will need to pay for the final 2 months yourself.

Preventative medicine
Health insurance covers the treatment and cure of conditions, it cannot be used to pay for preventative treatment.

What counts as being preventative is another grey area. For example, the drug Herceptin is used in the early stages of breast cancer, and research shows that Herceptin can reduce the chance of the cancer returning by 50% for women who have an aggressive form of the cancer called ‘HER2'. Some insurance companies call it preventative, some call it treatment:

Norwich Union, WPA, BUPA and Standard Life Healthcare will pay;

Legal and General and Axa PPP will not.

Drugs that have not yet been approved
Two of the main benefits of health insurance are quicker treatment and access to the latest treatments and drugs – but there's another spanner in the works.

The Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has to approve a drug before it can be used in the NHS in England and Wales. If it hasn't been approved, the insurer will probably not allow its use. It's not even necessarily that the drug has not been tested as safe to use, it's actually an administration issue relating to whether the benefits of the drug outweigh the financial costs of using it in the NHS. As a result, extended delays are occurring in drug approval, to the detriment of the people who need them.

The Financial Ombudsman has found a compromise – basically that if the insurance won't cover ‘experimental treatments', then it should provide cover to the cost of the approved conventional treatment, and the policyholder can make up the difference if the experimental treatment costs more.

Pre-existing conditions

Any condition or illness that occurred before the beginning of your policy is called a ‘pre-existing condition'. You cannot make a claim on a pre-existing condition.

This is why the medical questionnaire is so lengthy and detailed when you apply – they need to see a full picture of your current and past health so they can provide you with an accurate quote. Insurers will often write to your GP for specific details of your medical history, or request you to attend a medical examination.

The subject of pre-existing conditions is another contentious one. Say you broke your wrist playing hockey a few years ago. It seemed to heal but now you are suffering again because it turns out that you have a torn cartilage. If you make a claim for the operation, the insurer could argue that the condition pre-existed the policy, and you would either have to pay for the treatment, or join the NHS queue.

Some insurance companies provide some respite on this issue, by writing a moratorium provision into your policy. This means that as long as you have not suffered from the condition for two years, and the first incidence arose in the last 5 years, then you will be covered. Time frames vary and not all insurers provide moratorium provision, so check your policy.

The condition or illness is not covered

Like car insurance, health insurance works as an annual contract and every year, they are at liberty to change your premium and the terms of your cover.

The worst case, but entirely possible, scenario to arise in this case is to be told that the illness that you are receiving treatment for, is no longer covered by your policy. This could happen if your policy comes up for renewal during the treatment. You would have to pay for the rest of the treatment if this did occur.

As medical research advances, there are far more conditions that are now considered treatable. As a result, the line between chronic and acute conditions is always moving. There are a number of effects from this. Firstly, because more conditions are being classified as acute, more claims are being made. New treatments are also becoming increasingly expensive, Herceptin for example.

The net result is that the insurers are getting hit where they hurt the most – in the pocket. They have to pay out more, so they pass that straight onto the customer, which means higher premiums for you, especially at renewal time. They also take the opportunity to adjust their definitions and exclusions to lessen the risk of you making a claim, so take particular care to read your renewal notice in full before you sign up for another year.

So if you're thinking about getting Health Insurance, do your research first, and remember that the goalposts are always changing. If you have health insurance and you are in need of treatment, give your insurer a call first to make sure that you are covered, otherwise it's you that will be footing the bill.
[ health , insurance , online ]
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Austin texas health insurance.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Looking for Health Insurance in Austin Texas?

For years several sources have agreed that Austin Texas is one of the healthiest places in the country to live. The weather is among the finest in the USA. Austin has some of the best recreation centers and parks which create a sense of pride among the residents of Austin. The atmospheres these state–sponsored parks provide are among the best in the entire US, and there is little possibility of health hazards. The overall health of people living in Austin is among the best in the USA.

Austinites prove that they are not only concerned about their physical health but also their financial well-being as proven by the relatively high percentage of residents who have health insurance. According to the 2006 health statistics, the number of insured residents in Austin is 82.2%, which is very high. The act of buying health insurance in Austin is one of the most important investments that a person can make. There are many health insurance plans that are competitively priced and you can avail of very easily.
[ health , insurance , online ]

Health insurance providers have agreements with many medical facilities. Before you decide to buy health insurance in Austin you should understand how large their network of medical facilities is. If you choose on a hospital close to your home it will be much more convenient to get emergency medical attention if it is needed. You can go online to look for the medical insurance companies operating in Texas. You have to understand the costs health insurance will cover and the costs the health insurance will not cover.

The typical private health insurance plan will not cover the costs of tests and other atypical expenses prior to meeting your deductible. You might look for more comprehensive coverage if available. The coverage should meet your requirements. Apart from hospital expenses there are other expenses that the insurance providers often do not cover. These include vision and dental expenses. You can also avail of a custom quote that deals with the expenses needed to be covered in your health insurance. Most insurance companies offer flexibility of payment options but it is most important to discuss your payment options before you begin paying for your insurance. Another important question is about the customization and you may want to upgrade your insurance plan some time later on is important to discuss about it with your insurance providers.

Choosing a health insurance has also become very convenient for customers as they can just go to the internet and avail of different insurance plans. They can use the internet to find out about different options for health insurance in Austin. The internet thus makes it convenient for customers to find the right insurance companies. Health insurance in Austin is available from a number of insurance providers and can be accessed through even more local agencies.
[ health , insurance , online ]

Save On Your Insurance With A Health Savings Account Plan.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

What is a Health Savings Account plan?

A Health Savings Account allows you to set aside money to pay for current and future health expenses. The money you put into your HSA is tax-free, although you have to pay a penalty if you withdraw it for non-medical expenses. You can think of an HSA as a “medical IRA.” When you have a medical expense, you just pay for it with a check or debit card that automatically pulls money from the plan. And money that you are not using can be earning interest for future use.
[ health , insurance , online ]

How do I enroll in an HSA?

In order to enroll in an HSA, you must first set up a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). An HDHP is an inexpensive “catastrophic” health insurance plan. This type of plan costs less than a traditional insurance plan, freeing up funds to put into the tax-deductible HSA.

An HDHP typically pays nothing for the first several thousand dollars of health expenses you have each year. You pay those expenses out of your Health Savings Account. Once you meet the deductible, the HDHP begins to pay.

You can sign up for an HDHP and an HSA through insurance companies. To find plans that meet your needs, go to an insurance comparison website. There you'll have access to quotes from multiple insurance companies and will be able to choose the best plan for you. The better insurance comparison websites also have insurance professionals on hand to talk with you and answer all your questions about these plans(see link below).
[ health , insurance , online ]
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