Health Insurance

Nothing is more precious to us than having good health. Everyday people are getting more aware of the importance of having good health in order to be able to l8ive life to the fullest. But as the saying goes nothing is certain in this world, we will always have uncertainties and surprises good or bad in our life. We do get sick once in a while flu or even some major illness, or get ourselves involve in accidents. What ever the case may be these events when they happen to us could deplete our savings or even push us to bankruptcy. With the rising cost of hospital fees, laboratories and doctors’ fees it is now expensive and complicated. This is where health insurance could benefit us all. Yes, health insurance may cost a lot but having no health insurance at all cost more. Medical bills incurred from an accident could burn a hole in your savings. And in cases of cancer treatments, with all the doctors’ check ups, laboratory tests, and chemotherapy that one has to go through it could ruin you financially.

Health insurance could help you pay for the cost of a regular medical check ups, surgeries, contact lenses and glasses and even emergency treatments. There are two basic kinds of health insurance plan, the indemnity plan and the managed care plan. Indemnity plan is also called the fee for service plan. It has wider freedom and flexibility in the choices of the insured. He gets to pick the doctor, hospital and laboratory and other medical service provider of his choice. As long as the medical service is included in the health contract. But, the catch is the plan doesn’t pay for the entire charges, instead the insured shoulders the 20 % of the payment. This kind of plan covers only illnesses and accidents but preventive care like flu shots and birth control are not included. And coverage of the cost of prescription drugs and psychotherapy will depend on the policy and the company.

Managed Care Health insurance differs from the indemnity plan in a lot of ways. First, choice of doctors, hospitals, laboratories and other medical service provider is

limited to only those who have contracts with the HMO -Health Maintenance Organization–.Medical services is received only if authorized by the plan. If you insist on engaging on non authorized medical service provider then the cost of service or care provided will not be paid by the company. Preventive care and mental health treatment are covered by the plan.

Due to the rising demands for better and wider health insurance coverage, the health insurance is offering hybrid plans. Wherein, they combine the benefits of HMOs and indemnity coverage. The method is you can use the network of medical service providers that have contracts with the HMO but you are allow to choose someone outside of the network and pay for a higher percentage in the fee.. Managed Care plan also allows open access theory, where one can see a network medical specialist without any referrals from HMO.

You need to decide carefully in choosing the right health insurance plan for you and your family needs. You need to have a careful evaluation on what your family needs and extensive research for the right health insurance company that will provide for those needs. Keep in mind that the lowest premiums don’t really mean it’s the cheapest plan. Remember the cheapest plan is the policy that will give you the best benefits that your family really needs in case of emergencies and illnesses.

About Health Insurance Premiums

When one engages in any type of insurance as a policyholder, he or she is doing what economists call risk management. In order to hedge oneself from a certain risk-fortuitous or otherwise-a premium is paid to another entity that will indemnify when it does happen by pooling together resources. Such events can come in the form of contraction of an illness, a debilitating disease, and a disabling accident. Individuals who wish to be shielded from the heavy toll of these events, not just on the body, but also on the resources, acquire one or two health insurances or medical plans.

In principle, the fee or the premium is determined by the risk severity and frequency. The premium is likely to be higher for those whose health risks are assessed to be serious, probable, and recurring. This explains why health insurance premiums tend to be more expensive for those who are buying at their old age. People who smoke, drink, and take drugs may have difficulty securing a medical plan, or, they pay a large sum for a premium. Sometimes, those who are engaged in extreme sports or hobbies are unable to get one, unless their activities are excluded from the insurer’s list of accidental losses.

The US government will have medical plans for those with disabilities, as well as for those who are already 65-years-old, above. Since social health insurance works around the principle of resources pooling in order to provide coverage, the person insured will have the advantage of lower premiums despite predictable and probable losses. A certain degree of stability is also guaranteed, because the risk is shared both by the government and the citizenry. Of course, health insurance of this type also provides a wide range of accredited physicians and clinics, extending to all states.

However, the limited coverage of the public health insurance may be appealing to many. There are those who go for private medical plans that have wider coverage in terms of health risks, to include chronic and debilitating diseases, which may require prolonged hospitalization and treatments. Some insurers allow their clients the flexibility of choosing their preferred and trusted doctors and hospitals, an attractive feature of this health insurance. Inclusion of health of the immediate family members in the coverage is also possible, for an extra fee. As one may have already observed, private medical plans are costly, and perhaps a luxury these days.

While insurance has been highly commercialized, evolving into many forms to suit every person’s needs, there is still the old school of self-insuring. To manage risks and possible losses in the future, people are satisfied with just saving their money in the bank, instead of paying health insurance premiums. But factoring into the equation the rising inflation ever year and the minuscule interest that the bank gives, the funds deposited will decrease in value over the years. Like investment, it is wise to not put all the eggs in one basket. Self-insuring may be continued, but alongside, an insurance policy must also be secured and enforced for a better hedge in the years to come.

Texas Child Health Insurance

A growing number of parents have traveled to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas. That Hospital offers an ever-expanding spectrum of specialized medical care for children. Of course, sensible parents know what they need to do before heading to Houston, Texas. Child Health Insurance provides the best coverage for such parents.

Texas Child Health Insurance, like Texas Children’s Hospital, provides support to parents who must care for children with special needs. Such parents appreciate the wisdom of abandoning a reliance on low cost family health insurance. Such insurance generally fails to cover the best medical care for each traditional family (a mother, father and siblings).

Parents with the very youngest children might have an infant with an inborn abnormality. The professionals at Texas Children’s Hospital demonstrate a commitment to top-rated care for pregnant women, fetuses and newborns.

Texas Children’s Hospital has on its staff, physicians with a recognized reputation. Parents recognize the amount of knowledge held by such doctors. Parents also understand that they need to have Texas Child Health Insurance, if they expect to schedule an appointment with one of the Hospital’s knowledgeable professionals.

Suppose, for example a couple learns that a child they have conceived has hydrocephalus (water on the brain). Doctors can identify that condition by studying the image created by a sonogram. Babies that have that condition demand fetal intervention. Such intervention can be expensive. Parents with Texas Child Health Insurance can cover that enormous expense.

Parents who have purchased on more than family care insurance could find themselves hit with a large bill, a bill that they would not be able to cover. Parents might, for example need to bring a child to the Blue Bird Circle Multiple Sclerosis Cline. The professionals at that clinic treat a variety of neurological illnesses.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) results from development of an autoimmune disorder. Children have been diagnosed with a whole list of such disorders: transverse myelitis, optic neuritis, neuromyelitis optica and others. Parents who have Texas child health insurance do not need to wonder about how they will pay for whatever treatment method might be suggested by an attending pediatrician.

Epilepsy is another disorder that can affect a small child. The parents of such a child do not need Medicare supplement insurance. They might consider paying for a blue shield or a blue cross policy. The parents of such a child should certainly give serious thought to buying Texas child health insurance.

When parents have their names on such an insurance policy, then they can expect to meet with a whole retinue of health professionals. They might meet with a nurse practitioner, a nuropsychologist, a neuroaudiologist, a neuropathologist, a dietician and a social worker.

When a family has purchased Texas child health insurance, then that family can hope to participate in numerous informal medical conferences, conferences about the progress of a child that has a special health condition. Many such conferences have taken place at Texas Children’s Hospital, thus providing students from Baylor Medical College with excellent bedside training.

Health Insurance And Insurance Brokers

If you are in the market to purchase your own  health   insurance  coverage you can save yourself precious time and money by shopping and comparing policies right online. Sites dedicated to giving you quotes on various types of insurance make it very easy for you to get an idea of what your coverage and costs will be. However, please be forewarned that there are some pitfalls in using an insurance broker as I discovered within the past year.

As a self employed person, I carry my own  health  and life  insurance  for my family. When making the move from New Jersey to North Carolina in 2004 I knew two things about our  health   insurance :

1. I would have to shop for a  health   insurance  provider covering North Carolina.

2. Rates would be cheaper than in New Jersey, with costs being about half of what I had been paying and with slight better coverage.

Several weeks before we moved I contacted a well known internet insurance broker and received quotes. We selected one company and received the paperwork from the broker about ten days before our move. Quite frankly, I wish I had started the process a little earlier as all of our free time was dedicated toward preparing and making the move. So, I ended up packing the paperwork with my personal stuff and was only able to fill it out and submit it one week after our arrival in North Carolina.

Dealing with the online insurance broker was a simple task, but I soon discovered that they were an extra step in the application process, one that only slowed down our approval.

Once the paperwork was received by the broker, they acknowledged the same via email and mentioned that they would review our package before forwarding it to the  health   insurance  company.

Over the next couple of weeks we received messages from the insurance broker stating the following:

1. We are in the process of reviewing your application.

2. We have sent your application off to the insurance company.

3. The insurance company has your application and will be reviewing it in about one week.

4. The insurance company expects a delay in reviewing your application due to the high volume of applications received.

5. Please do not contact the insurance company directly; we will keep you posted as to the status of your application. Yeah, right.

Originally, we were assured by the  insurance  broker that the  health   insurance  company would review and approve our application within two weeks. Follow up phone calls by us to the broker along with several exchanges of emails revealed that this was not going to happen. In addition, when we contacted the  health   insurance  company directly – at the encouragement of the broker – the  health   insurance  company had difficulty finding our application. Within a few days the application was found sitting in another department; our contact at the  health   insurance  company blamed the broker for sending the information to the wrong address.

As it turned out, the original insurance quote we received online was off by just over 20%. Once the  health   insurance  company determined that certain pre existing conditions needed to be factored in our rates rose accordingly. Of course, when working with the internet broker we knew that the rate quoted wasn’t ‘absolute’ but the big jump was still a bitter pill to swallow.

Among our thoughts at that point in the process were:

1. Had we known ahead of time that our “final rate” would be so high, we would have shopped around some more.

2. Because of the delays and the passage of time, we needed to complete the application process as our coverage with the NJ health provider would need to be canceled, preferably by the end of the year.

By the middle of December, a full ten weeks after we submitted our paperwork, we received official notification that our application was approved and that we were covered. During the last couple of weeks of the lengthy application process we contacted the  health   insurance  company directly several times to learn what the status of our application was. At no time during the process were we assured that we would receive approval; essentially we were told that coverage would begin pending approval.

In conclusion, I offer the following recommendations for shopping for  health   insurance :

1. Comparison shop online. Get quotes through the online brokers to get a general idea of what your costs will be. If you have pre-existing conditions, the prices quoted will not be reflected in your quote.

2. Narrow down the list of companies quoted to three and then contact them directly. Bypass the broker as they are an unnecessary additional step in what certainly is not a quick approval process.

3. If you need insurance by a particular date, apply well in advance to allow for delays, for misplaced paperwork, changes in your application, etc. Our  insurance  coverage was approved effective a specific date, but we were able to move it to another date to coincide with the dropping of our NJ  health  care provider.

In all, the experience was wearisome at times and a real eye opener. I know you see ads all the time for online insurance quotes. I am not saying to avoid the sites, but please consider what we went through before using an online broker exclusively.

Health Insurance is a Must For Everyone

Health is wealth indeed. But one hardly thinks of insuring oneself against possible illness until it is too late. Health insurance is a necessity in today’s world. The cost of medical care and treatment has soared to new heights in recent years and is expected to rise even further in the years to come.

What is health insurance?

Simply put, health insurance is protection against medical costs. Non-life insurance companies offer health insurance. However, it can be bought as an additional benefit rider with your life insurance policy but has some limitations. Depending on your policy, your premium may be payable either in lump sum or in installments. Health insurance usually provides either direct payment or reimbursement for expenses associated with illnesses and injuries. The cost and range of protection provided by your health insurance will depend on your insurance provider and the particular policy you purchase.

Why do you need health insurance?

Think for a moment about the enormous medical costs that you would incur if you suffered a major injury tomorrow or were suddenly stricken with a life-threatening illness. Uninsured people live with such risk every day of their lives; health insurance can shield you from that risk. Even if you’re healthy today and have never had any major problems in the past, you simply can’t predict the future.

The escalating cost of medical treatment today is beyond the reach of common man. Research indicates that life expectancy at 50 is likely to go up from 8 years in 1971 to 18 years by 2021. Rising cost of healthcare and increasing life span will cause the current generation of working class to think about a prudent mix of investment and risk covers to meet future challenges.

In case of a medical emergency, cost of hospital room, the doctor’s fees, medicines and related health services can work out to be a huge sum. In such times, health insurance provides much-needed financial relief.

Still not convinced? Well, it also provides you with tax benefits. Section 80D 2A of Income Tax Act allows you a deduction upto Rs. 15,000 per annum for the premium paid to service a medical insurance policy for you and your family. If you are also paying for the medical insurance premium of your parents, you get an additional deduction under section 80D 2B upto Rs. 15,000 per annum. If your parents are senior citizen (i.e., attained 65 years of age), this additional deduction limit is raised to Rs. 20,000. It is a great tax saving option and can play wonders. However, one should look upon health insurance as a necessity rather than as a tax saving option.

What you need to know about Health insurance?

You should understand the policy, and become familiar with common health insurance provisions, including limitations, exclusions, and riders. It’s very important to know what your policy covers, and what you will have to pay from your own pocket.

Health Insurance policies generally cover boarding, nursing and diagnostic expenses, which include room rent charged at the hospital or nursing home, fees of the surgeon, anesthetist, doctor, etc. Some policies even offer fixed cash amount for each day you stay at any hospital for treatment. Once out of the hospital, your expenditure on further treatment over 60 days may also be covered.

If you have a persistent health problem and then decide to take insurance, it might not be covered. Expenses on hospitalization, incurred in the first 30 days after taking a policy are also not entitled, except in case of an injury from accident. Treatment of certain diseases is not covered during the first year of your policy. The list of diseases may vary from one health policy to another.

Popular health insurance product “Mediclaim” offered by four subsidiaries of GIC does not cover costs of acquiring spectacles, contact lenses or hearing aids. Expenses on dental treatment or surgery of any kind are also not covered unless requiring hospitalization. Expenses on treatment of situations arising from or traceable to pregnancy or childbirth, treatment of AIDS and naturopathic treatment too are not covered.

Under Mediclaim, coverage of hospitalization is subject to a minimum of 24 hours except in case of dialysis, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, eye surgery, dental surgery, lithotripsy, tonsillectomy; D & C taken in the hospital and the insured is discharged on the same day.

You do not need to be treated in any particular hospital to be eligible for the cover. However, the hospital you choose must satisfy some conditions. Firstly, it should have at least 15 in-patient beds for ‘A’ & ‘B’ class cities and 10 in-patient beds in class “C” cities. Fully qualified nursing staff must be under its employment, round the clock. Lastly, it should have a fully equipped operation theatre.

When to get health insurance?

Normally you can take a medical insurance any time. The age limit is from 5 to 75 years. Even at the age of 60, you can get a policy for the next 15 years. But you can’t insure yourself against any disease you already have. And it gets costlier with age.