Thursday, December 29. 2011
While Medicaid is expected to expand when healthcare reform ramps up in 2014, the plan could receive a significant amount of state cuts in the interim that will affect both patients and industry members, according to The Associated Press.
The program costs $427 billion annually, and is funded at both federal and state levels. That number was due to be cut by a congressional committee this year, but the group was unable to come to a compromise on how to trim it, the news source noted. Some of the eventual cuts coming could be drastic and may have legal ramifications.
"Everybody understands that doctors are basically small business people, and we have to meet our cost plus make a living." Dr. Douglas Tolley, the head of a California practice, told the news source. "Just meeting our cost doesn't mean staying in business."
For those concerned about the future of public healthcare and its availability, it may be a good idea to explore private options. There could be many health insurance options with low rates that are attractive alternatives to public plans.
A recent announcement from the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services revealed that President Barack Obama has awarded millions to fund states' attempts to increase health insurance coverage for children.
The president has awarded approximately $296 million to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, according to Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of HHS. Since CHIP was reauthorized in 2009, more than 1.2 million children in the United States gained healthcare coverage. The money, which will be allocated through performance balances, will be awarded to 23 states that are eligible to receive it.
"More children now have the advantages health coverage provides," Sebelius said. "And parents now have the security of knowing their children can get the health care they need without worrying that an illness could leave them with a lifetime of medical bills."
If consumers are searching for a family plan, but for some reason are not qualified for a government-sponsored plan, it may benefit them to look for affordable health insurance quotes. There may be a private plan that has what they are looking for.
While some people's health insurance policies inform consumers that various procedures are free of charge, some items may be added that will be billed directly to the consumer without them knowing, according to USA Today.
Many health insurance plans have a high deductible. But, if the person who has the plan hasn't met that deductible, they could have a hefty bill to pay, the source noted. Healthcare reform attempts to prevent consumers from being hit with a large bill for preventive care, but some exceptions with the new law will prove problematic for some people.
Some doctors are not happy about it, as patients may receive a fee for not understanding their own policy.
"It erodes a trust relationship the patients may have had with their doctors," Dr. Joel Brill of the American Gastroenterological Association, told the news source. "We get blamed. And it's not our fault."
It is important for consumers to understand their health insurance policy before getting any procedures done, as this could help prevent unwanted bills. If the person's plan doesn't cover what they want or need, comparing affordable health insurance quotes may be the best medicine.
Due to the failure of many hip joint replacements, consumers may be witnessing an increase in bills and health insurance rates, according to The New York Times.
The hip replacements are made of a metal joint that has a tendency to scrape against itself and send debris into the body. The person who has the artificial joint is at risk of needing an early replacement, on top of many other medical bills that come with it, the news source reported. The joints are intended to last at least 15 years.
The all-metal designs make up around one-third of all hip replacements in the United States annually, according to the source. However, recent tests have found that in the past five years, no improvement has been made in joint replacements overall. This also showed that three in 10 of these items actually were worse.
Due to health insurance rates at risk of increasing in the United States due to this, it may be smart to compare affordable health insurance quotes. This could help keep costs down during a turbulent insurance period.
Wednesday, December 28. 2011
A recent report from Patients for Fair Compensation showed that close to 33 percent of all money spent in the healthcare industry is used to prevent lawsuits.
In total, the report noted that close to $40 billion is spent needlessly. This includes multiple tests and other types of preventative treatments undertaken in hopes that the physician will not be reprimanded for not covering all of their bases. Nearly 90 percent of doctors in the Sunshine State admitted to using defensive medicine practices.
"Doctors order unnecessary medical care because they are in fear that one mistake could wipe out everything they've ever worked for," said Richard Jackson, chairman of Patients for Fair Compensation, "That kind of money could certainly help pay for the healthcare of many uninsured Americans. If we eliminate defensive medicine, we can make healthcare more affordable for everyone."
With so much money being wasted, it may be important for consumers to ensure they have an inexpensive health insurance plan. Affordable health insurance quotes may not be difficult to find, and could still have the necessary options to keep consumers fully covered.