Health Insurance News

health insurance author Cathy Wilson My name is Cathy Wilson. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to be your “section” leader for the health insurance sector of our Web site. I happen to live in Cincinnati, Ohio. As you may know, there are many parts that fall under the term “insurance.” My assignment is to focus my team strictly on the “health insurance” part of the entire “insurance” industry. This entire section is devoted to answering any questions that you may have about health insurance. My background in nursing has really helped me to understand many of the terms used in this industry.

As you may have already seen, in each section, we have boxes located where you can see them where you can ask me a question that you may not be finding in my section. All you have to do is type in your question. That will generate an e-mail to me. I will research your concern as quickly as possible; I will then post it for everyone to see should they have the same question! Let’s move on to the more important things.

Most Recent Health Insurance Questions

Ten Reasons To Have Health Care Plans

  1. Without medical insurance plans you may be forced to go to a hospital that is maintained by a county. These hospitals are notorious for being extremely overcrowded. You may be sitting there with a life-threatening situation without getting help in time.
  2. Having not medical insurance could potentially cause any life insurance plan that you are looking at to have very high premiums.
  3. If you happen to have diabetes and do not have medical insurance, you should know that your mortality rate is higher than individuals that have diabetes and do have health care.
  4. Having health insurance coverage protects you and your family from possibly running into a very costly hardship due to some extended stay in the hospital or some major-type surgery.
  5. Some people don’t realize that if you don’t or have not paid your medical or hospital bills, the hospital might have their legal staff lien your property.
  6. Without affordable health insurance, when you need medical care you may not be able to afford it.
  7. Depending on the university or college, some of these education facilities may require proof of health care coverage. This is also true of certain types of international programs.
  8. If you have medical insurance, you are far more likely to seek medical assistance at a clinic or hospital before your condition worsens. Oftentimes the expenses go up the longer you wait.
  9. Deduct 100% of your monthly insurance payments if you are self-employed making your insurance premium as close to a cheap health insurance plan as you can likely get!
  10. You can make affordable health insurance more affordable if you are able to take certain risks. This risk would if you are fairly healthy and seldom have the need for medical services. You can buy what’s called “catastrophic coverage.” Basically it’s an “indemnity policy,” which translates into a deductible, which is very high – maybe $2,000 or more. This could reduce your monthly payment by as much as 50%. Make sure to fully understand the term “catastrophic” as the insurance industry describes it.

Ten Things To Know Before Purchasing Medical Insurance

  1. In the event of a job loss, you have the right to maintain your health insurance. There are federal and state regulations that offer protection from losing your coverage if you lose your job. The downside to this scenario is that there is not much in the way of protection from the costs of a higher monthly payment or premium. As a result of the stimulus (economic) bill, you may still be entitled to a little help.
  2. If you demand more flexibility in low cost health insurance, you’re going to end up paying for it in the form of co-payments or higher premiums. The health plans with the lowest cost to you out of your pocket will make you be part of their network or group health care plans. This means that you have to use certain doctors, hospitals and/or laboratories.
  3. Medical expenses that do not exceed 7.5% of the money you make are not deductible on your taxes. This includes your medical insurance premiums. Self-employed people, and those individuals where their employers have a flex-spending account can get tax breaks without meeting the 7.5%
  4. Health insurance coverage obviously isn’t cheap but not having insurance at all will likely cost more. Getting a major illness could force you into bankruptcy and a car accident could result in medical bills that might wipe out everything that you have in savings.
  5. Try to investigate cheap health insurance plans or individual health insurance that more or less pinpoints your needs.
  6. Group coverage from an employer is an excellent way to go. Usually these affordable health insurance plans are subsidized by the employer saving you lots of money.
  7. Making comparisons and understanding all the terminology is tough work. There really isn’t just a “standard coverage” type of thing out there. From plan to plan the costs and/or benefits have a lot of variance. It’s important that you study, investigate and do your homework.
  8. Watch for loopholes! Even with a great cheap health insurance estimate you have to understand what you buying. Options on these health plans include prescription drugs, mental health and dental care.
  9. If you are a working couple there are some more things to think about. If the two of you each get coverage at work, you’re going to have to go through the two plans and make a decision that will be best for you. You may find that one should cover the other. Don’t forget about the kids!
  10. Do some research on the individual performance on some of the hospitals, doctors and individual health insurance plans in your area. There are sources such as this Web site that provides this information.

A Little History On Health Care Insurance

The big question now before Congress and the American people is whether or not our government should provide some kind of cheap health insurance to all. Also, should this be free or cheap? There are those that claim that cheap translates to poor quality.

Low cost health insurance meant something completely different back in the 1860s in the Civil War time period. In those days an affordable health insurance covered nothing more than an incident if you were traveling on a steamboat or by railroad. However, in 1847 the first actual group plan policies were issued from Massachusetts Health Insurance located in Boston. These plans actually covered an injury or illness. As time progressed, by about 1890 there were insurance providers that were now issuing “individual” policies for illness and disability.

In a more modern sense, the first “group health” plan for insurance came about by a small band of teachers located in Dallas, Texas. They signed an agreement with the Baylor Hospital for things like medical services, rooms and board and paid monthly installments. Popularity then increased for healthcare coverage in the 1930s to 1940s. Cheap health insurance began to really take off in 1932 when Blue Cross/Blue Shield, a nonprofit organization began offering group health plans. Negotiations evolved between the Blue Cross/Blue Shield organization and hospitals, along with their staff to have discounted contracts. Hospitals and their staff then enjoyed quick payment and an increase in volume, which meant revenues!

In the 1940s to the 1950s the first “employee-benefits” began to evolve. Unions stepped in to negotiate better and bigger benefit packages. At that time, World War II broke out and the government “froze wages” accelerating the idea of healthcare for groups. Employers were not able to attract employees by paying them more money so they attracted employees adding affordable health insurance free to their “benefits” package.

By 1954, the coverage within social security included disability benefits for the first time. In 1965, programs for Medicare and Medicaid were created by the United States government. At that time, private providers were paying 75% of the costs for healthcare. By 1995, the United States government was paying half of the costs.

President Clinton, in 1993 tried to get the US Congress to guarantee healthcare insurance for every American but Congress voted it out claiming it was way too expensive. So far, neither the Bush nor the Obama administrations have been able to get the United States Congress to come to an agreement.

Recent Health Insurance News and Comments

In the United States, the average citizen forks out a little over $6,000 for expenses regarding their health. If you take an individual that makes $40,000 a year, that’s 15% of that person’s salary! So much for the notion of cheap health insurance, right? Years back, patients and doctors actually had relationships. Our nation still now relies very much on private insurance in our healthcare system. This private insurance is made largely of HMOs, which stands for health maintenance organization. Unfortunately the HMO programs are bogged down in a maze of bureaucracy.

In the 2008 presidential elections insurance was again a big issue. At this time, there are over 46 million people in the United States without insurance coverage. Growing opposition amongst Democrats and Republicans in Congress has the whole system once again in turmoil. Americans all over the country will have to step up and really become involved to get the system fixed.

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