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When Selecting A Health Care Plan!

Every year, Americans spend $200 billion in prescription drugs. People are taking more drugs, and drugs keep getting more expensive. The same can be said about medical insurance costs, which are so high now that some companies are dropping health benefits altogether.

Health care paln
Not having enough money to pay for their health care, some people are taking potentially fatal risks, such as skipping medications or stretching out their doses. There are, however, various options for people seeking good medical coverage with a tight budget.
When considering the costs of a health plan, you should pay close attention to:
Premiums
These are the monthly payments you have to make to be in the health plan.
Deductibles
These are the amounts you will need to pay first before the health plan covers the costs.
Co-payments
These are fees you need to pay for each doctor or emergency room visit.
Generally, the lower the costs, the less flexible the plan is. If you want freedom to select any physician or service, you may have to pay high premiums. This type of plan is known as traditional indemnity.
Another option is a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO).

An HMO is not expensive and usually has a broad coverage. Although there are no deductibles-just co-payments-you can only see a doctor approved by the plan. Also, before seeing a specialist you must go to your selected primary care provider, who will refer you to the specialist.
A different plan is known as Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). Usually more expensive than an HMO but less expensive than a traditional indemnity, the PPO plan offers incentives for seeing a doctor within the plan’s network-you may see other physicians but at a higher cost. Both deductibles and co-payments are charged for some of the services.
A mix between an HMO and a PPO is the Point of Service Plan (POS), which costs about the same as a PPO. It is similar to an HMO in that you must choose a primary care provider, but, like a PPO, it lets you go out of the network at a higher cost.
If you don’t have health insurance or have only major medical coverage, you may be eligible for a Health Savings Account (HSA). An HSA is like an IRA, but instead of saving pre-tax money for retirement, you save to pay for medical expenses. The money can be withdrawn at any time for qualified expenses-otherwise you would have to pay taxes. This plan is good for healthy people that rarely use medical services.
Your employer may not offer every type of plan, but you can take some steps to obtain the best price according to your needs:
1. If you want a low premium and have some emergency savings, you can select a deductible between $250 and $500.
2. If you want lower costs in general, choose an HMO with a co-payment of $25.
Other factors that affect the amount of your health insurance premium are the lifetime maximums and the number of benefits in your plan. For example, you will probably want to include dental benefits in your plan, but not vision benefits. These days, health insurance companies offer sophisticated services that most people don’t really need-the more services you pick, the higher your premium will be. So choose wisely.

Why Our Health System Is In A Mess!

Health Care messThe rhetoric surrounding health care insurance from legislators has very stealthily transitioned from “Universal” to “Mandatory” and from “Health” insurance to “Medical” insurance. Does that mean there’s intent to leave non-medical providers out of any plan?

And the only focus now seems to be on “containing and lowering health carecosts”. But understand the facts. In addition to the citing high costs of services, there are a myriad of problems that need to be focused upon.

The problems include the high costs of a medical education. A good majority exit medical school (doctors & therapists, et.al.) with loans over $100,000 at 7%-10% interest rates. Now “contain and lower” the potential incomes of these professionals by drastically restricted and/or capping what they are paid for their services.

Now add in the costs of practice which only increase and the costs of living which only increase, on top of the costs of those student loans. How many people would remain in the medical professions? With great numbers leaving for higher paying professions, what would happen to the medical care system in this country?

Let’s not ignore skyrocketing health care insurance premiums, co-payments, deductibles; continually reduced or eliminated covered health care expenses; the obscenely high salaries and bonuses of health care insurance, medical equipment and pharmaceutical company executives; the extremely high commissions and bonuses health care insurance, medical equipment and pharmaceutical company brokers and salespeople get to sell their policies/products, plus their lucrative perks, like all expense-paid trips; the “incentives” these health/medical products corporations “extend” to providers, administrators and mangers of hospitals and clinics, to use their products.

It doesn’t take rocket science to come up with viable solutions that are not at the expense of just the consumer, yet have benefits for all involved.

As insurers readily place “caps” (limits) on the amounts they will pay for a particular health care service, limits (“caps”) should be mandated on the amounts the health insurance and products companies should be allowed to charge for insurance premiums and products.

Federal legislation could also mandate a new corporate tax on all health insurance, liability insurance and medical liability (malpractice) insurance companies, all hospitals, clinics and multi-doctor facilities that receive fees for policies, services, supplies, equipment, etc. A 1% “Mandatory Universal Plans Fee” levied onto corporate gross revenues over $500,000, all personnel salaries/incomes/commissions over $200,000, bonuses over $50,000 and all-expense-paid trips valued over $10,000, could go a long way in assisting the financial stability of health care insurance for all, with the revenues from this “M.U.P. Fee” used to subsidize Medicaid, Medicare & Universal Plans.

And mandating insurance corporations to form not-for-profit subsidiaries to offer health care insurance plans at reduced premiums for working and middle income citizens who do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare plans would go a long way in this crisis.

The only way¬†health care insurance is going to be made available in an equitable manner to all citizens, is if the playing field for contributing to it, paying for it and restricting “pay”, is leveled across the board. A common sense, common good, common contribution approach, with health care insurance and products companies contributing their fair share, needs to be applied if all citizens are going to get fair, affordable, complete “health” care insurance that covers all health care providers’ services in all health care disciplines, equitably.