Purchasing an Individual Health Care Plan

Buying a personal healthcare insurance policy can be a stressful experience for anyone who has always been covered by their employer’s group plan. The following is a process that you can use to find the best health insurance plan to cover yourself and your family.

The 3 areas to focus on are affordability, quality of coverage and the strength of the insurance carrier.

Company- Your health insurance carrier should be stable and have a good record of paying claims.

Coverage – The health coverage must meet your needs. It should cover doctors, hospitals, labs plus drugs. It should also have physicians and hospitals in their networks that are near your home or place of work.

Price – Your health plan must be priced competitively relative to the benefits provided.

The basic process to use is to:

Determine which individual or family medical companies are worthy of being considered. Determine which insurance plans offered by those health care insurance companies offer proper coverages Determine which insurance plans have the lowest overall cost relative to the health insurance coverages provided

Health Insurance Companies

A private healthcare insurance provider should have good financial ratings and be in good standing with your state’s insurance department. You may also want to do a Yahoo! search for complaints.

You might for example search for “Mega Health complaints” before buying a policy from the company. Every insurance company has some complaints just by virtue of the volume of clients they have. However, a red flag should go up in your mind when there are too many complaints. This is especially true when the insurance company in question is small..

One more issue to look at is how much they pay in benefits as a percentage of the premium they take in. A quality company will write checks for about 80% of the money they take in to pay for their policy holders’ doctors and hospital bills.

Benefits – What does your medical plan cover?

There are two aspects of coverage. One is the treatments that are paid for by the plan. The second is the network’s list of doctors that the insurance policy includes.

Covered Healthcare Procedures

Your healthcare insurance policy should cover you well and the hospital and should have a good lifetime maximum benefit. I suggest at least 5 million dollars of coverage. You should read through your insurance plan’s outline of coverage or official brochure to see how doctors, hospitals and prescriptions are covered.

Insurance Exclusions and Limitations in Health care Policies

Most if not all health care insurance plans will have a list of treatments and services that are not covered. Most of the excluded or limited items in this section are reasonable and are included in the plans of most carriers also. Plans typically will not cover plastic surgery for example. There are are often exclusions that you may discover in one company’s plan but not in another plan. Coverage for preexisting conditions is one example of this. Most plans will not cover the costs of a normal pregnancy. The ones that do usually be more expensive when compared to otherwise similar plans that don’t cover pregnancy. The exclusions and limitations section of your policy or its out line of coverage should be read carefully before you make your decision about purchase.

Health Care Insurance Networks

Knowing which physicians and hospitals are in your medical insurance carrier’s network is an issue to address. You might be able to find a list of doctor’s who accept a given insurance plan by doing a Google search or by calling your healthcare insurance broker.

Price – Finding the best affordable health care coverage

It is easy to compare personal health insurance costs, but it is much harder to be certain you’re getting good value for your money.

Selecting Between Health Care Insurance Policies

Not until you have crossed the plans on your list that have bad coverage and/or a lousy list of doctors should you start comparing the prices of the plans

The Best Health Care Insurance Coverage for the Money

The best health insurance coverage, may not be the best plan for you. Often the best policy is overpriced and does not offer coverage that justifies the extra that it costs. Make sure that any plan you purchase is:
- Provided by a good medical insurance carrier
- Will cover your health care needs well Fits your budget.

Important Things You Need to Know About Life Line Screenings

Everyone seems to take for granted life line screenings just because they feel strong and they can still do their daily activities in a flawless manner. It’s still not safe to say that they have a perfect health unless they have undergone certain medical tests. This is actually a special health prevention program that makes use of cutting-edge medical technology and equipments that can prevent health complications and instead provide everyone with myriad of health benefits.

The purpose of health screenings is to give American citizens an opportunity to identify whether they are suffering from illnesses or diseases. It offers early detection of health problems like stroke, carotid artery disease, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease that can lead to serious complications later on. In order to avoid the said things, they must consult medical professionals right away and be one step ahead.

There is no age requirement for those who want to get screened. There’s even a survey that the number of people who are at risk of getting a stroke is escalating as the years pass by. So, it is really highly recommended to take a cardiovascular screening once they reach their 50′s. But the case is not the same for those who have a family history of the mentioned major health problems because they need to take the screenings as early as possible or as soon as they’re in their 40′s.

Life life screenings is very much different than what medical tests that hospitals provide. While doctors show their expertise in treating diseases, the medical professionals who do the screenings are trained to identify early signs of cardiovascular diseases and other major health problems. This program is designed to detect diseases or illnesses that don’t show any sign of symptom. If they have risk factors like specific health conditions, family history and age, this screening is highly beneficial to them.

By means of health screenings they can also enjoy much bigger savings. Why? The cost of health care these days are continuously surging and with the help of this program they can save a lot of money since it helps in preventing health problems. This can instantly result into lower insurance premiums, which can be of great help to them. Screenings are very affordable, so instead of splurging all their hard earned money to other things, they might as well invest it to this program, for the sake of their own health.

Others avoid screenings thinking that it would take a lot of their time. But it’s not really that time consuming. It will only take at least an hour to finish the screenings, which greatly depends on the number of tests they need, their disease level, vascular anatomy and even their body type. Investing an hour or two for life line screenings wouldn’t be too much to ask from them since this is for their own good and this will determine right away if there’s a chance that they will encounter a major health problem later in the future.

Insured vs Uninsured – The Segregation of American Health Care

Everyone, at some time in his or her life, will need to seek medical care. The American health care system is a billion dollar industry, and it discards people that can’t afford its services. The current health care system is divided into two groups–health care for the insured and no health care or limited care for the uninsured. The kind of medical and personal care that an individual receives under the current American health care system depends on the person’s insurance status. In the land of equal opportunity, segregation is still practiced.

It is a well known fact that people that have health insurance receive much better medical and personal treatment from health care providers than people that don’t have health insurance. The insured are treated with dignity and respect. Sadly, the uninsured are treated with indifference and disdain. For uninsured people, obtaining health care can be an extremely demoralizing and frustrating experience.

When a person calls a medical practitioner for an appointment, the first question of the medical office staff is if the person has health insurance. If the person doesn’t have health insurance, the attitude of the office staff changes dramatically. A lot of times the person is asked abrasive and invasive financial questions. Cash payment is requested before the visit will be scheduled, or at the time of the visit prior to services being provided. Some medical offices refuse to provide medical care if there is no health insurance and the person is unable to pay cash in advance. Uninsured people seeking medical care face embarrassment because they cannot pay in full for medical services without benefit of a monthly payment plan. They are made to feel like their health does not matter because they are uninsured.

In some hospitals and physician’s offices, the type of medical care that is rendered to uninsured patients is much different the medical care that is provided to insured patients. During a personal interview with Carolyn Hagan, an uninsured Oregon resident, it was revealed just how shoddily uninsured patients are treated. According to Hagan, because she doesn’t have health insurance, she is unable to obtain the necessary medical care for her heart condition. Hagan stated, “I have so much trouble getting medical care because I am uninsured, and I can’t afford the cost of health insurance. I can’t afford the high cost of the medical tests that I need. None of the doctors will treat me except for occasional brief checkups because I am not profitable to them. Every health insurance company that I contacted to see if I could get insurance refused to insure me because I have heart trouble. I have had to cancel medical tests because funding that I applied for to help with the cost became unavailable. The care that I need is expensive, and it is so frustrating because no one is willing to help me. I feel like no one cares.”

Hagan is a productive American citizen that works and pays taxes, and she is among the working middle class that is wrongfully victimized by the American health care system. Due to health insurance company exclusions, she is not insurable, and she is unable to pay cash in advance for the care that she needs. What the current health care system in America is telling her is that even though she is a hard working American citizen, she doesn’t matter because she can’t help increase the bottom line of the health care industry.

Many practitioners refuse to work with uninsured people, and won’t allow them to pay for medical care on a monthly payment plan. This additional exclusion prevents thousands of Americans from obtaining necessary health care. The American health care system has become so convoluted and expensive that American citizens are forced to seek health care outside the United States. Places like Argentina, Singapore, Manila, Bangalore, and Costa Rica provide high quality, low cost health care to American citizens that America should be providing to its own people.

American society is insurance poor–people are unable to get health insurance. Private insurance policies are too expensive for most people to afford, and the policies that are affordable to people of middle class and lower are frequently inadequate in the medical services that they cover. American insurance companies have exclusions that prevent many people from qualifying for health insurance even though having the insurance would prevent further illness and allow maintenance for current illness, consequently reducing medical costs.

America has some of the best trained medical professionals, and the cost of their education is enormous. No one can expect them not to make a good living at their profession; however, the migration of medical care to countries outside the United States is a glaring indication that the American health care system needs to be revamped and made affordable to everyone.

There have been many attempts at health care reform in America; by the time it finally happens, there might not be enough people seeking medical care in the United States for the reform to make any difference. America will still be health care poor while other countries will be getting rich by providing Americans the health care that America places beyond reach.

© Copyright 2007 Patti McMann. All rights reserved.