Tuesday, February 28. 2012
A recent report from the Bankers Life and Casualty Company's Center for a Secure Retirement showed that more than 55 percent of average income Baby Boomers do not know about how Medicare works.
The report, "Retirement Healthcare for Middle-Income Americans," showed that 13 percent of this group felt that Medicare was free, which is incorrect. More than 70 percent noted that they didn't know that Medicare requires a monthly premium, as well as deductibles and co-pays. Also, close to two-thirds of those polled didn't understand how they would benefit from their Medicare plan when visiting the doctor or staying in a hospital.
"Minimize financial surprises by understanding your retiree health insurance benefits well in advance," said Chris Campbell, vice president of strategic marketing and business development for Bankers Life and Casualty Company. "Estimate what your financial responsibility is under Medicare, including premiums, co-pays, deductibles and uncovered expenses, in particular, long-term care."
Those who don't think Medicare is for them may want to look at other health insurance options. Comparing affordable health insurance rates may help make finding the right plan easier.
Monday, February 27. 2012
The American College of Emergency Physicians noted that thousands of residents of Washington state could be denied emergency room care due to their Medicaid plans.
The report examined Oregon patients who, if they were living in Washington, would be locked out from receiving such care. In addition, nearly $100 million in Medicaid funds are used in Washington - less than 2 percent of which is used for emergency-related healthcare.
The information also suggests that 35 percent of cases have nothing to do with emergencies, which is far off from the national average of just under 10 percent.
"The Washington State Medicaid plan is flawed because it assumes that physicians know the final diagnosis when a patient walks in the door," said Dr. Robert Lowe, professor in the department of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology at Oregon Health and Science University. "But many patients come in with minor symptoms that turn out to be serious medical conditions."
Consumers who are on a publicly-funded health insurance plan, but not happy with it, may want to consider using a private option. There are many options available that are affordable, and comparing affordable health insurance rates may help a person find what they need.
Tuesday, February 7. 2012
Many middle class retirees have some important misunderstandings when it comes to Medicare costs and coverage, according to a survey from health insurance company Bankers Life and Casualty Company's Center for a Secure Retirement.
The study, "Retirement Healthcare for Middle-Income Americans," found that 33 percent of respondents were unaware of how much the plan would cover doctor's appointments. In addition, another 31 percent were unaware of how much they would be covered in the event of a hospitalization.
"Financial fallout from healthcare related expenses can devastate savings and strip away the enjoyment of one's retirement years," said Chris Campbell, vice president of strategic marketing and business development for Bankers Life and Casualty Company. "Review your Medicare plan options annually and look into new health and prescription drug plans that better meet your needs."
However, 65 percent of those who were on Medicare noted they paid the same for health insurance now, if not more than when they used a private plan, the study added.
If a Medicare plan isn't fulfilling a person's health insurance needs, it could be a better idea to look at other options by comparing health insurance quotes.
Tuesday, January 17. 2012
Healthcare expenses are becoming burdens for a large portion of older Americans, according to a report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
The survey noted that 21.5 percent of households with Americans over the age of 50 have been forced to alter their prescription drug options due to cost. In addition, nearly 20 percent reported avoiding the doctor when they have needed to go.
"We know that consumption tends to fall with age, but it's difficult to measure whether falling consumption is voluntary," said Sudipto Banerjee of EBRI, author of the study. "However, we found evidence that a significant segment of the older population may be making spending adjustments to their health care in order to save money."
More than 27 percent of older Americans noted they have experienced trouble with their ability to make bill payments, due to their healthcare costs, the survey noted. Another 30 percent of older consumers who have struggling health needed to change their prescription drug habits.
Older Americans who are struggling with health insurance payments may be better served by a plan with a lower deductible. Comparing affordable health insurance rates may help save money, especially with rising costs elsewhere.
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.