Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Medical Aid - Big or Small?

It is also disconcerting to see how many people who can afford health cover like Liberty medical aid choose not to have their health covered. This is a major concern given the consistent rise in medical claims over the last few decades.
What is also troubling is the fact that many medical schemes have collapsed over the last few decades. Now, I am not talking about the big schemes, like Liberty medical aid. I am referring to smaller medical schemes.
The average medical aid client decides to join a smaller medical scheme to save some costs. I believe this is a big mistake. What these clients do not understand is that smaller medical schemes are stricter when it comes to actual claims. They have to be. Their income (like premiums) is usually not high enough to support the claims that come in. That is the reason why they will do everything in their power to keep their claim count as low as possible and to grow their premium income as much as possible so that they can get a secure financial footing in the industry.
However, when you deal with bigger medical schemes like the Liberty medical aid you do not have to worry about this. These industry giants can easily absorb the financial impact that claims have on their finances. As a rule, medical aids should have a solvency ratio of twenty five percent. This figure shows whether the medical scheme in question will be able to pay claims or not. If the solvency ratio drops to below twenty percent it is advisable to stay away from such schemes.
Bigger medical aids also do not have any hidden terms and conditions. When you are dealing with a medical scheme industry leader, transparency is prevalent. Organisations like Liberty medical aid know that this niche is very competitive and sensitive. If people do not trust your advisors or your way of doing business, you will have to close your doors. These industry leaders understand the importance of transparency. Therefore, 'underwriting' takes place while the advisor sits with you. He asks a lot of questions so that he can give you a fair and accurate quotation based on the facts given. In this meeting you will know exactly how much commission and administration costs you pay per premium.
I know a lot of people want to save that extra $10 or $20 dollars when it comes to medical schemes. I have found that it is not worth it when you consider the risk you take just to save a couple of dollars. Stick with the leaders like Liberty medical aid and you will be safe.

Monday, March 19, 2012

How Do Medicare Benefits Compare To Other Medical Insurance Benefits?

As the cost of health care goes up for everyone, the cost for Medicare goes up for the government as well. To understand the changes that need to be made to Medicare to help it become solvent, it is a good idea to compare it to other programs available to Americans under the age of 65.
The Medicare doctors and hospitals are the same ones that everyone else uses. The difference is in how the services are paid for. While people can pay for these services out of their pockets, they usually pay for the medical expenses with insurance. Sometimes people get insurance through their employer. When that happens, they get whatever their employer is willing to pay for. Each year someone makes a decision about the benefits based on the price of the plan to the company. These companies make the decision about what they can afford. The plans with more benefits cost more than the ones with fewer benefits. The deductible is usually raised or lowered to adjust the monthly premium. The higher the deductible, the lower the cost. They also adjust the co payments for doctor visits and prescription drugs.
Individuals and families who purchase their own insurance make the same decisions before purchasing a plan. They can choose a low deductible to pay the doctors if they go to the hospital. But if they want to save money each month, they raise the deductible and the monthly premium will drop. If you don't go to the doctor much you can also eliminate the doctor office copayment and lower costs dramatically.
Medicare has these same components to its coverage. The deductible is around $1000 dollars for hospitals. This deductible is similar to the average individual and family plan, but it is not unusual to see higher deductibles of $2500 or even $5000. After the deductible is met, Medicare pays 100% of the rest of the hospital stay. Most insurance plans that people or businesses get will drop the co insurance after the deductible to 80%, 70%, or 50% instead of 100% coverage. This will lower the cost to them each month. These benefits are for hospital stays.
Prescription drugs are usually covered by individual, family, or employer plans with just a copayment. Medicare originally did not have a benefit for prescription drugs. In 2003 the Medicare Modernization Act offered a new Part D for prescription drugs. You could opt for a Medicare Advantage plan or purchase a separate prescription drug benefit plan as well. This benefit does not add much to Medicare because the cost is typically paid for by the recipient and not Medicare.
The doctors are covered with a deductible and co insurance on Medicare. You have an annual deductible of around $100 and then Medicare will pay 80% of the rest of the doctor bill. Most individual or employer plans offer co payments for doctor visits but some do not. This co payment adds cost to the plan.
Medicare is a great plan in comparison with other regular plans. It costs nearly nothing when compared with the monthly cost that most people are paying when they reach 65. Many people will even get short term health insurance plans to cover their catastrophic needs just to bridge the gap until they qualify for the great benefits Medicare offers at a low rate to the person.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Why Can't I Find Medical Insurance For My Children?

The Patient's Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was supposed to help children under the age of 18 to qualify for coverage without worrying about underwriting. While that was included in the law, as soon as it was implemented, the insurance companies stopped offering policies for dependents under 18. If you find yourself in need of covering a dependent there are ways you can get coverage. But it isn't simple like you might expect.
The best way to get coverage for a dependent is to actually put them on a parents' policy as a dependent. This is the only way to get the comprehensive types of plans that most people are familiar with. When I write comprehensive, I mean plans with copayments for doctor visits and prescription drugs. These plans are available to children and they do not have to worry about underwriting. However they do need to be on a plan with their parents or a parent. If the parent is already on a plan through an employer or their spouse's employer they need to decide if they are willing to come off of their plan and onto a plan with their children. The problem could be that the parent is not eligible for an individual plan.
Sometimes people find themselves between coverages and need coverage just for a few months. Short term health insurance plans are perfect for these situations. They are comprehensive major medical plans and approved by the department of insurance just like any other medical insurance plan you might be able to get. The drawback of these plans is that they are like the old comprehensive major medical plans. They will cover you or your children for any new illness or injury subject to a deductible and coinsurance. Since these plans do not typically have co payments for doctor visits or prescription drug plans they are much less than other plans. These temporary medical insurance plans are available for children under 18 too. So if you only need coverage for 6 months to 11 months, these plans will meet your needs for catastrophic coverage. The amount you save in premium payments each month will be more than enough to pay for any doctor visit you might need during that time out of your pocket. Just because you do not have insurance to pay for something like a doctor visit or prescription drug does not mean that you can not get it. If you don't go to the doctor at all then paying for the benefit each month would be a waste of money. If you don't go to the doctor much, consider this option to save you money and give your dependent the coverage they need if they need a policy just on themselves.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Three Tips to Get the Best Health Insurance Plan

Health insurance is a big industry - so big, that it's easy for an unsuspecting newcomer to get lost in it. But undoubtedly, it is an important part of living in a structured society. If you want to make sure that you are well taken-cared of when you have a medical emergency, you need to get yourself the best health insurance money can buy.
Of course, it is expected that not everyone will be able to afford themselves a high premium in this economy, and it really doesn't make sense to spend that much cash on something you can only use sometime in the future. Hence, most will have to make do of getting low cost health insurance while no threat is foreseeable. But even so, one must be able to get the best deal possible out of the providers, so you can maximize your investment's worth. To keep your choices open and minimize the costs entailed in paying premiums and prescriptions, here are some guidelines you ought to remember when getting coverage.
1. Negotiate your plan. Make sure that you know how much you are paying and what you are paying for before you sign up. Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of excess or co-payment options. Don't go for anything that entails both conditions during hospitalization. Then, go over the insurance payment policy regarding hospital admission, prescriptions, hospital delivery, as well as laboratory exams. It would be great if what you get covers a portion, if not all of it. Additionally, study how much the penalty charges would actually be if you miss payments, because you might just end up forfeiting your plan with the added charges.
2. Check the coverage. There are insurance firms that can only be used in certain states, or have limitations in other areas. There are those that can only be used individually and for the family. You have to see to it that the policy you acquire can uphold the same services wherever you are, for whoever the family member you specified. You could go do a research on reliable local companies for low-cost health insurance claims that complement your income bracket.
3. See who and what they are affiliated with. If you prefer a certain set of health professionals or a particular hospital, then, you should get health insurance that they honor, instead of any random policy. Certainly, you'd be more comfortable to entrust yourself with people you know and have a record of your health development. Don't be shy about using a broker in the process, as they can ably help you determine which of your choices offer the best health insurance plan that fits your budget.
Of course, it wouldn't hurt if you gather quotes on your own as well, so you could compare notes. Insurance companies are always available to cater to client questions and clarify uncertainties. You can never be too lenient considering the amount of money that is involved. In this day and age, it would be a smart decision to get an insurance plan for yourself and your loved ones. But, you also have to see to it that you make the "right kind" of smart decision.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

When Can I Get Medicare?

Medicare is the program the government created to allow people to get affordable insurance coverage for medical expenses they have when they are older. The reason this is necessary is all insurance is priced based on risk of a claim. The older people get the more likely they are to file a claim for a medical issue. Older Americans were being priced out of the market by expensive monthly premiums the moment that they needed it the most. People close to Medicare are paying the most for their medical insurance than anyone at any time. It is a good idea to know when you are eligible for Medicare so that you can begin to establish your coverage and save money on monthly premiums as soon as possible.
Medicare is currently available to individuals who are 65 years old. They will get their Medicare cards a few months before they turn 65. Every American will qualify for Medicare benefits the first day of the month that they turn 65. So if anyone wants to cancel their current coverage, they will need to wait until that date. For example, if your birthday was the fifth of June, your insurance will begin on June 1.
You will automatically be enrolled in Part A and it does not cost anything extra. Part B is an additional cost for doctor benefits but it will be automatically deducted from your social security check if you choose not to get it. Part A by itself is great for any large medical expense from the hospital or surgery. You will only have to pay a small deductible for the first 60 days in the hospital. Often this benefit that costs nothing is much better than the benefit that they had before they were eligible.
Part B costs extra but it will pay 80% of any doctor bill that you might have after a deductible. There is no out of pocket maximum but an 80% discount is a pretty good deal even if you still have to pay the remaining 20% for the doctor to get you healthy. Many people get supplements to pay the extra 20% or they get a Medicare Advantage plan that helps them with doctor visits. Both part A and part B will begin the first day of the month that they turn 65.
The time leading up to eligibility for Medicare can be difficult for people to make ends meet. For this reason, many people look to basic coverage to bridge the gap in medical insurance coverage. These people will opt for a short term insurance plan to cover for major medical issues until their plan starts. Americans can save hundreds of dollars a month with these plans. You can get quotes and information on how to save money with these temporary insurance plans until your Medicare starts on many websites. It doesn't take very long and you could save thousands of dollars over the 6 months you wait for Medicare to start.